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C6e Hiftrarp 

of tlje 

([Injt3£t0itp of Jl3ortJ) Carolina 

Collection of iRort^ Caroliniana 





oim No. A -368 
















Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Washington, D. C, May 29, 1929. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit the accompanying manuscript, 
entitled "The Swimmer Manuscript: Cherokee Sacred Formulas and 
Medicinal Prescriptions," by James Mooney, revised, completed, 
and edited by Frans M. Olbrechts, and to recommend its pub- 
Hcation, subject to your approval, as a bulletin of this bureau. 

M. W. Stirling, Chief. 
Dr. C. G. Abbot, 

Secretary oj the Smithsonian Institution. 





Bibliography xiii 

Acknowledgments xv 

In memoriam — James Mooney xvii 

Introduction 1 

Material and method 1 

The writer of the manuscript 7 

General background — Informants used 7 

Linguistic notes 10 

Phonetic symbols and abbreviations 11 

Disease, its nature and its causes : 14 

Nature of disease 14 

General semeiology IG 

Disease causes 17 

Natural causes 17 

Supernaturajl causes 18 

Spirits 19 

The Sun 19 

The Fire 21 

The Moon 22 

The River 22 

Thunder— Red Man— Two Little Red Men 23 

Purple Man, Blue Man, Black Man, etc 24 

Various Little People 25 

Animal Spirits 25 

Ghosts 26 

Human ghosts 26 

Animal ghosts 26 

Preternatural causes 29 

Witches 29 

"Man-killers" •_':':_'l'j_-Lr'_ 33 

aye^*liGo"Gi diseases 33 

"Mulier menstruans" 34 

Dreams 35 

Omens 37 

Neglected taboos; disregarded injunctions 38 

Causes of contagious disease 39 

Disease and its treatment 39 

Diagnosis and prognosis 39 

List of spirits 42 

Color symbolism — Sacred numbers 51 

Materia medica 52 

Paraphernalia used in the treatment 58 

Curing methods 60 

Prescriptions as to diet, taboos, etc 64 

A typical curing procedure 67 

Surgery --- 68 



Disease and its treatments-Continued. ^ae« 


Change from within— Influence from without 77 

Attitude of the community toward the sick 80 

Efficacy of treatment ^J 

The medicine man 

Different classes 

Scope of knowledge 

Social status 

Professional ethics ^^ 

The medicine man's fee ^^ 

Mutual relations 

I nitiation 

Diffusion of knowledge |"^ 

Succession and inheritance 1^*^ 


Attitude toward white culture '■^' 

Personalities — Individual differences 109 

Birth \\l 

Sexual life 


Abortus — Contraceptives ^^ 

During pregnancy 

Pregnant woman's taboos l-^" 

Husband's taboos ]^}- 

„ , . 122 

Partus - J26 


Care for child— Child life 1^° 

Raising the child to become a witch— Twins 129 

Death and afterlife J^J 


Between death and burial |^^ 


After burial 


The soul III 

Survival of the soul ^^* 


Tragical deaths J;* 


The formulas 

XT . _ 144 

Name ^^^ 

Origin ^^g 


Prayers . J49 

For protection 

For long life ^^^ 

For gathering medicine ^^" 

Conj urations 

For curing 

For using tobacco 

For examining with the beads 

Against witches 

Agricultural ^^^ 

For hunting and fishing 1^^ 


The formulas — Continued. 

Kinds — Continued. Page 

Incantations 153 

"To change" _. 153 

To kill 154 

For love attraction 154 

For making unattractive 155 

For separating 155 

How the formulas are recited or sung 155 

How the formulas are considered by the laity and by the medicine 

men 156 

Technique of writing the formulas 157 

Structure of the formulas 159 

The ritual language 160 

Cherokee Texts 

1. (For) the big chill this is the medicine 167 

2. And this is (for) when their heads are ill 170 

3. This is the medicine when they are sick with sharp pains 171 

4. This is to cure with, when they have them itching 173 

5. If snakes have bitten them, this is the medicine 175 

6. This is to cure with, to give it to them to drink when they are sick 

with "eaters" 178 

7. This is when they are sick with the "yellow" 180 

8. This is the medicine for their navel 182 

9. This (is for) when they have them drooping 184 

10. When they have them drooping, this is the medicine 185 

11. (For) their navel, this is the medicine 186 

12. This is the medicine (if) simulators have made it resemble it (i. e., a 

real sickness) 187 

13. This (is for) when they have their heads aching 188 

14. Their navel, this is the medicine (for) 189 

15. This is the medicine for their navel 190 

16. This is to treat (them) with if the raccoon causes them to be ill 192 

17. And another one if the little ones have diarrhea 193 

18. This is to take people to the water with 193 

19. This is to treat (them) with (when) he habitually breaks them (i. e., 

rheumatism) 196 

20. This (is) to treat (them) with when they have dreamed of snakes; 

(what) to give them to drink, and (how) it is to be said 196 

21. This (is) to cure (them) with whenever they have lost their voice 198 

22. And this (is) for the purpose (of treating them) when they urinate 

(like) milk 199 

23. This (is) to blow their heads with; the medicinq (which is) to be used 

with it is told below 200 

This (is) the treatment for their breast 201 

This (is) for using the snake tooth at the scratching of them 202 

This is the treatment whenever they are ill with the "yellow" 204 

This (is) for when they become ill suddenly 205 

This is to scratch them; a brier should be used with it 205 

This is the medicine (for) when their breast swells 208 

This is to treat them with when they have blisters 210 

(This is) for the purpose of scratching people, using the snake tooth 

with it _ 212 



32. This (is) to treat them with (for) worms.. 213 

33. This (is) the medicine, if they have (pains) appearing about in dif- 

ferent places 215 

34. This (is) to make them vomit bile 217 

35. (This is) the treatment when they have them drooping 219 

36. This (is) for the purpose of it, whenever they have pain in different 

places 219 

37. This tells (about) what to treat (them) with if they urinate yellow.. 221 

38. (This is) to treat (them) with, if they have their urinary passages 

stopped up 222 

39. This (is) the medicine (for) the black "yellow" 222 

40. This (is) the medicine whenever they have them shaking 225 

41. This is the medicine for the chill 226 

42. This is the medicine when they attack him suddenly 229 

43. This is to take those that have been left (alive) to the water with 232 

44. When they have pains appearing about in different places 235 

45. This is the medicine for their sides 236 

46. This (is) to treat (them) with when "it affects them in such a way," as 

they usually call it 239 

47. This is the medicine if snakes have bitten them 240 

48. This is the medicine when they have it hot 241 

49. This (is) when they are ill (by) those living in the forest 243 

50. This (is) to treat (them) with (when) they have inhaled bad (odors) _ . 245 

51. And (this is for) when they are under restrictions (and) they dream 

of all sorts (of things) 246 

52. This is the medicine for worms 247 

53. This is the medicine when they have blisters 250 

54. This is the medicine for their breast, when the terrapin affects them 

as they go about 251 

55. This is to cure (them) with, if what they urinate is yellowish 253 

56. This is the medicine for their throat 254 

57. This (for) their head (is) the medicine 255 

58. This is the medicine when they have become as though (they were 

really ill) 256 

59. This, whenever their feet are frost bitten, (is) the treatment 257 

60. This is the medicine when their feet are frost bitten 258 

61. This is the medicine when their mouths are sore 259 

62. This is the medicine for the insects living in the water 260 

63. This is the medicine when their teeth ache 262 

64. This is «the medicine when their breast aches 263 

65. This is the medicine for their navel 264 

66. This is the medicine when they have pains (shifting) about 265 

67. This is the medicine whey they have it along both sides 267 

68. This is the medicine whenever their breast aches 269 

69. To cure them with, when they have been shot 271 

70. This is to make (the) little ones jump down from them, for their 

(mothers) 273 

71. And this (is for) when they discharge slimy (matter) from their 

bowels 274 

72. (This is) the medicine when they discharge blood from their bowels-. 275 

73. Also a medicine when they discharge blood from their bowels 275 

74. Also a medicine when they discharge pale blood (and) slimy matter 

from their bowels 276 



75. To cure the chill with 276 

76. This is to make the small ones jump down from them for their 

(mothers) 277 

77. This is the medicine when their food is changed 279 

78. This is to cure (them) with, when they let tliem down from their 

stomach, (and) they do not recover 28 1 

79. This is for the purpose of (curing) children when they constantly cry__ 283 

80. This is the medicine when they have the itching 285 

81. This is the medicine to give them to drink when they urinate yellowish 

(urine) 287 

82. This is the medicine (for) their head 288 

83. This is to examine with the beads 289 

84. This is the medicine (when) it breaks them 291 

85. This is for the purpose of (curing) the "yellow" of their navel 294 

86. This is (for) when they are sick with a swelling 297 

87. To cure them when they have their feet frost bitten 298 

88. This is the medicine (for) what they call "cocoons" 299 

89. This is the medicine for their head 300 

90. This is the medicine for a beanlike (boil) 300 

91. This is (for) what they call "it causes them to be broken" 301 

92. This is (for) when they have bad dreams 302 

93. This is to take oneself to the water with, to help oneself 305 

94. This is the medicine when they urinate white (matter) 307 

95. This is the medicine when they urinate milky (substance) 307 

96. This is, when a tooth comes out, to throw it away with 308 

Index 311 



1. James Mooney xvii 

2. Facsimile page of the reconstituted text 2 

3. Facsimile page of the Q;''yo°'i-'ni manuscript 2 

4. a"yo°'t"'ni ("Swimmer"), the writer of the manuscript 8 

5. W., main informant and interpreter 8 

6. a, The root of an inverted raspberry branch, b, Bark from the 

sunny side of a tree, c, He then wraps the simples in his white 

cloth 54 

7. a-h, Surgical instruments, i, The "lj:'ani;'Ga" scarification instru- 

ment 54 

8. a, Ts., the oldest of the medicine men. 6, se"'Uye''ni a medicine 

woman 84 

9. a, Og., two days before he died. 6, The corpse is put down on 

wooden boards 84 

10. a, Jud., the Cherokee Rabelais, b, The chief of the coflBn makers. 

c, T., the unofficial chief medicine man 114 

11. o, J., One of the lesser stars, b, Del., descendant of an old lineage 

of medicine men 114 

12. a, Je., a prominent midwife. 6, O., Del. 's mother; midwife 116 

13. Cherokee dance mask 116 

1 Plate 4 is from a photograph taken by James Mooney in 1888. Plates 1, 2, 3, and 7, i, are from the 
collections of the Bureau of American Ethnology. The other illustrations are from photographs taken in 
the field by the editor (1926-27). 



Adair, James. The history of the American Indians. London, 1775. 
Administrative Report. Thirty-seventh Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 

1-31. Washington, 1923. 
Bergen. Fanny D. Current superstititions. Mem. Amer. Folk-Lore Soc, 

vol. IV. Boston and New York, 1896. 

Animal and plant lore. Ibid., vol. vii, 1899. 

Chamberlain, A. F. Disease and medicine (American). Hastings' Encyclo- 

psedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. iv, pp. 731-741. New York and Edin- 
burgh, 1914. 
CuLiN, Stewart. Games of the North American Indians. Twenty-foui'th 

Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn. Washington, 1907. 
DoDONAEUS, Rembertus. Cruydt-Boeck. Leyden, 1608. 
Haywood, John. The natural and aboriginal history of Tennessee. Nashville, 

Kleiweg de Zwaan, J. P. Die Heilkunde der Niasser. Haag, 1913. 
Lemery, Nicolas. Dictionnaire ou Traits Universel des Drogues simples. 

Amsterdam, 1716. 
LuDEWiG, Hermann E. The literature of American aboriginal languages. 

London, 1858. (Triibner's Bibliotheca Glottica. I.) 
MacCauley', Clay. The Seminole Indians of Florida. Fifth Ann. Rept. Bur. 

Ethn., pp. 469-531. Washington, 1887. 
MacGowan, D. J. Indian secret societies. A paper read before the American 

Ethnological Society, March, 1866. Historical Magazine and Notes and 

Queries, vol. x, pp. 139-141. Morrisania, N. Y., 1866. 
MooNEY, James. The sacred formulas of the Cherokee. * Seventh Ann. Rept. 

Bur. Ethn., pp. 301-397. Washington, 1891. 

Myths of the Cherokee. Nineteenth Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn., 

pt. 1. Washington, 1900. 

The Cherokee River cult. Journ. Amer. Folk-Lore, vol. xiii, pp. 1-10. 

Boston and New York, 1900. 

The Cherokee ball play. Amer. Anthrop., vol. iii, pp. 105-132. 

Washington, 1890. 
Pickering, John. A grammar of the Cherokee language. [Boston, 1830.] 

(Four printed sheets only; n. p., n. d.) 
Pilling, James C. Bibliography of the Iroquoian languages. Bull. 6, Bur. 

Ethn. Washington, 1888. 
PucKETT, Newbell Niles. Folk beliefs of the southern Negro. Chapel 

Hill, N. C. 1926. 
Roth, Walter E. An inquiry into the animism and folk-lore of the Guiana 

Indians. Thirtieth Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn.. pp. 103-386. Wash- 
ington, 1915. 
Stevens, W. B. A history of Georgia. Vol. i. New York, 1857. 
Timberlake, Henry. Memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake. London, 1765. 
Von der Gabelentz, Hans Georg Connor. Kurze Grammatik der Tschero- 

kesischen Sprache. In Zeitschrift fur die Wissenschaft der Sprache, III 

(1852), 257-300. 
VoN HovoRKA and Kronfeld. Verglcichende Volksmedizin, ii vol, Stuttgart, 

Wood, George B., and Bache, Franklin. The Dispensatory of the United 

States. Nineteenth Edition. Philadelphia, 1907. 

« Usually cited as SFC. 


I take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to those who 
have in many ways assisted me in completing this task. 

To Dr. Franz Boas, of Columbia University, to whom I am not 
only indebted for my ethnological training and for many personal 
favors, but who has been directly responsible for my being intrusted 
with the editing of the present manuscript. 

To the late and the present chiefs of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology, Dr. J. Walter Fewkes and Mr. M. W. Stirling; to the 
ethnologists of the bureau, especially to Dr. John R. Swanton; and 
to the officers of the Smithsonian Institution. 

To the C. R. B. Educational Foundation (Inc.), New York, to whom 
I owe the great benefit of two years' study and research in the United 
States. I want to thank especially Dr. P. C. Galpin, secretary, and 
Mr. Millard K. Shaler, the foundation's representative in Brussels. 

To Mrs. Allan Watson, of the Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, 
D. C, and to Mr. J. Henderson, superintendent of the Yellowhill 
Government Boarding School, as well as to the members of his staff, 
especially to Mr. tlessie Lambert. 

More than to any other of the white residents in the Cherokee 
country I feel indebted to Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Edmunds, jr., teachers 
of Big Cove Day School, Ravensford, N. C, who by their cordial 
hospitality of the first two weeks and by their repeated proofs of 
sympathy during the rest of our stay have greatly facilitated the 
field work. 

To Mr. Paul C. Standley, of the United States National Museum, 
Washington, D. C, I am greatly obUged for the identification of the 
botanical specimens, as well as for valuable hints and instructions. 

Thanks are due also to Mr. F. W. Hodge, of the Museum of the 
American Indian, Heye Foundation, and to Dr. Frank G. Speck, of 
the University of Pennsylvania, who both gave me valuable informa- 
tion and advice before I started on the trip. 

To all of the Cherokee informants with whom I worked I feel a 
great debt of gratitude. I especially want to remember W., Del., and 
Og., since deceased. 

To Margriet Olbrechts, my wife, who cheerfully shared all the joys 
and troubles of the trip with me, much credit is due for invaluable 
assistance in practical as well as in ethnological matters. 

F. M. O. 



James Mooney 


(PL 1) 

I consider it an obvious act of piety to dedicate this paper to the 
memory of the scientist who devoted so much of his erudition and 
enthusiasm to the ethnological study of the North American Indians, 
and particularly of the Cherokee; to a man wdthout whose previous 
intelUgent research and pubHcations the following pages could not 
now be offered to the pubHc. 

The glowing tribute paid to him in the name of his colleagues and 
friends by Dr. Jolm R. Swanton in the American Anthropologist, 
volume 24, No. 2, April- June, 1922, pages 209-214, has done him justice 
from one quarter only. Doctor Swanton was the eloquent spokesman 
of James Mooney's white friends. When I went to live with the 
Cherokee of the Great Smoky Mountains to continue the work of 
Mooney I found that his departure had been felt as cruelly by his 
Indian friends as by his white colleagues. The mere statement that 
I came to stay with them with the same purpose in view as had n9*°Do' 
(Mooney's Cherokee name, meaning "moon") served as the best 
introduction I could have desired. People who looked askance, and 
medicine men who looked sullen when first approached, changed as if 
touched by a magic wand as they heard his name and as I explained 
my connection with his work. 

From all that I heard I concluded that his life and his dealings with 
our mutual friends, the Cherokee, were a stimulating example for 
me, and I was well satisfied whenever I heard my conduct and my 
person not too unfavorably compared with that of my sympathetic 

The line of research which Mooney had started in the Cherokee field 
was too interesting not to be followed up ; the results he had obtained 
demanded still a considerable amount of further study, both in the 
field and at the desk. It is sad indeed that he did not have the satis- 
faction of seeing this manuscript pubhshed before he passed away 
from his beloved Cherokee studies. But the fife of a scientist and a 
pioneer like Mooney is not of threescore and ten only. He continues 
to live for generations in his splendid and altruistic work, in monu- 
ments more durable than stone. 

I consider it a great honor and an enviable privilege to link my name 
with his, and at the same time to be able to contribute something 
more to the memory of James Alooney, by offering to the public the 
results of our joint work contained in the following pages. 

Frans M. Olbrechts. 

Kessel-Loo, Belgium, 
Christmas, 1928. 
7548°— 32 2 xvii 



By James Mooney 

revised, completed, and edited by 

Frans M. Olbrechts 

Material and Method 

Cherokee manuscripts and material on the Cherokee language have 
a most uncanny propensity to get lost. 

The "dictionary" of Christian Priber has never been heard of since 
it reached Fred erica, Ga., probably in 1741.^ 

The bulky material of the Rev. S. A. Worcester, including a gram- 
mar and a dictionary, went down on the Arkansas about 1830.^ 

The manuscript contributions to Cherokee linguistics by Col. W. H. 
Thomas have ''unfortunately (been) mislaid."^ 

The manuscript of John Pickering's grammar of the Cherokee lan- 
guage, the printing of which was interfered with, or was thought to 
have been interfered vrith, by the invention of the Sequoya syllabary.^ 
has never been found. 

To reach a climax: The manuscript which is edited in the following 
paper has been true to the tradition, and has disappeared without 
leaving a clue. The manuscript is described by Mooney, who dis- 
covered it and brought it to Washington, as "a small daybook of about 
240 pages, . . . about half filled with writing in the Cherokee char- 
acters,"^ and elsewhere as "an unpaged blank book of 242 pages, SJj 
by 12 inches, only partially filled; 137 (formulas) in all."^ 

Mooney started work on it in 1888; he transliterated and translated 
the formulas with the assistance of native informants, a*yo"t'ni', 
the writer, himself taldng a conspicuous part in the work. 

' Stevens, Hist, of Georgia, vol. i, p. 165; Adair, Hist. Amer. Inds., p. 243. 

2 Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, p. 174. 

3 Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, p. 162, note. 

* Ludewig, Literature of Amer. Aboriginal Languages, p. 38. 

5 Seventh Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethn., p. 312. 

^ Thirty-seventh Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn., p. 8. 



Of the 137 formulas, Moonej' edited 14 in vSFC/ Four only of 
these 14 fonnulas he intended to incorporate in the final edition of the 
Ay. book,* viz, Nos. 1, 3, 29, and 70 of the present collection, which 
were tentatively edited in SFC, pages 359, 366, 365, and 363, respec- 
tively. I have respected Mr. Mooney's intention and conserved 
these four formulas in the present paper. 

Of three more formulas, Nos. 43, 83, and 93 of the present paper, 
a translation without the Cherokee text was published by Mooney in 
The Cherokee River Cult; the phonetic texts have now been incor- 
porated in this paper, as Mooney intended. The manuscript as 
Mooney planned to hand it to the printer consisted of the texts and 
translations, together with explanatory notes, of 96 formulas, includ- 
ing, as just stated, the 4 formulas published with texts, translations, 
and notes in the SFC, and the 3 formulas of wiiich a translation and 
the accompanying notes w^ere published in The Cherokee River Cult. 
The remaining formulas that are left unaccounted for were not included 
by Jklooney in those intended for publication, possibly on aqcount of 
their being incomplete, or because they were for some reason deemed 
unfit for publication.' The explanation which seems most probable 
is that Mooney intended to edit in this paper only the formulas that 
were of a strictly medicinal character, and that he withheld all other 
formulas, such as love-attraction formulas, incantations, hunting 
songs, etc., for pubUcation at some future time. 

Indeed, not one of the many Cherokee manuscripts that I have seen 
contained such a homogeneous collection as is here presented, so much 
so that this homogeneity can only be explained by its being artificial. 
The true character of a Cherokee book of formulas and prescriptions 
does not therefore appear from the manuscript now published to the 
same extent as it will from the other manuscripts, the publication of 
which is under consideration. 

The 96 formulas here published had furthermore been arranged by 
Mooney in a S3^stematic sequence, in a logical order, ''logical" from the 
white man's point of view, classifying the various formulas as those 
"against genito-urinary disorders," "against indigestion," "against 
bow^el troubles," etc. This classification is qidte foreign to Cherokee 
knowledge and use, and I have considered that it diminished the value 
of the manuscript as an aboriginal document. 

The original of the manuscript not being available for comparison, 
I went through a tedious process of comparing various notes and cross 
references found in Mooney's manuscript notes. By so doing I have 
been able to reconstitute the original sequence of the manuscript as 
faithfully as this could be done by the means available ®; it is, of 

' Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, Seventh Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethn. 

* For the abbreviations of the names of medicine men as Ay., W., etc., see p. 9. 

« The sequence as given by Mooney is shown in the Appendix, p. 167. 


^ ■ ) 


tC ck^/^-'o'::^. o-^fi^n zr^rs^s ofn^z. 
9- oz^cr '"} 


Facsimile page of the Reconstituted Text 





27 c:^^^.^ ^^^'^^^^ -^-^^^^^^^ '^Ix^^^^S' '^^^.'^^■^^ ' 

j i 

^^ * 

Ill iiianii^cript 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 3 

course, not possible to say which place was taken in this sequence by 
the formulas which had been discarded by Mooney. 

Another fact to which attention should be called is that this manu- 
script contains 13 fonnulas wldch were obtained by Ay. from another 
medicine man, i;'tlanQ-'"Do, who had died when Mooney started 
worldng on tlie manuscript. Ay. himself was unable to give Mr. 
Mooney much information on these formulas and the data we have 
on them have mainly to be gathered by analogy with what we loiow 
of the other formulas. Tliis u'tlang-'^oa must have been rather 
generous mth liis loiowledge, as tlds collection of formulas is also 
found in the compilation of wJno'ti' (Ms. II) /° another of the reputed 
medicine men of Ay.'s time. 

So as to be able to complete the w^ork on the manuscript with the 
best results possible the following method was adopted: 

The original manuscript having been lost, Mooney's transliteration 
was taken along when I went on the Cherokee field trip. After con- 
tacts were made with the people, and especially with some of the 
more prominent medicine men, efforts w^ere made to acquire a sound 
knowledge of Cherokee phonetics, as well as pronunciative facilities. 
The transliteration of Mooney was then read aloud to a medicine 
man, who wrote the text in the Sequoya syllabary. This text was 
then read aloud bj^ the medicine man and was taken down phoneti- 
cally by me. On this latter text the work was done. 

This may seem to be a very artificial way of reconstituting the 
text but I can vouch for its accuracy. Until the original manuscript 
comes to Ught again — which I sincerely hope it wiU— there is only 
one proof to test the acciu'acy of the texts acquired in this way: 
Mooney, in his SFC, gives an illustration (PL xxvi) of a page of the 
Ay. manuscript (Formula 29) ; with this illustration the text obtained 
by me was compared after I came back to Washington and it was 
found that there were no real discrepancies. The two texts are given 
on opposite pages. (Pis. 2 and 3.) 

From a careful investigation of them, and after due allowance is 
made for the variants residting from the difference between the 
magistral, calligraphic wiiting of Ay. in the one, and the current, 
ahnost stenographic scribble of my informant (W.) in the other, it 
appears that there is really no discrepancy that coidd in any way 
interfere with the meaning. Such differences as there seemingly 
are, are merely matters of orthography, or show that one indi^ddual 
is more slave to "sandhi" laws than the other. The words that 

'" In the course of this paper the manuscript here edited will usually be referred 
to by an abbreviation: the Ay. Ms. By Ms. II, I refer to WJno'ti's manuscript, 
which will soon be ready for publication; and by Ms. Ill to a manuscript by the 
latter's father, Ga'DtGwana*'sti. 


differ in the two versions are listed below, followed by an explanation 
of each fact:^' 

Ay. W. 

Line 1. vu'a-.a'i (written twice) Line 1. vu'a-.a'i (wTitten three times) 


Line 2, 8. 9'-"Dalt-Gwy'Ji. Line 3, 9. y-'°Dali e-Gwo'!i (2) 

Line 4. dunu''3''tam'le".i' Line 5. dynu'-j-'tantU'' (3) 

Line 12. nQ-"dadu'-gta'9-''sti' Line 12. nQ-^tadu'-kta'Q-nsti' (4) 

Line 14. de'-du-do-neli'se'sti' Line 14. de^'du'dg-ne-lidrse-sti' (5) 

Line 14. g9-'>tsaM(o)tagfya' Line 14. gg-^tsa'tagfya' (6) 

Line 16. widisti)tl(i)tadinQtaniga Line 16. widistotl(a)tadi ... (7) 

Line 20. atsflo"' Line 21. atsila' (8) 

(1) Whereas Ay. has written the song-word twice, W. writes it 
three times; neither of them is right, since, strictly speaking, it should 
be written seven times; but it is very rare that tliis is done; often we 
even find these song-words written only once, since every medicine 
man knows that they are to be repeated four or seven times anyhow. 

(2) It is customary for the Cherokee who ^vrite a great deal in 
the Sequoya syllabary to adhere to a "sandhi"-law of the spoken 
language, and to drop a final vowel before a word beginning with a 
vowel, linking the consonant of the first word with the vowel of the 
second as in this case: (Q'na) li + e'(gwo)^-le"- 

It will be noticed that Ay. conforms to this use in every one of the 
three cases where the word occurs (Ay. lines 2, 8, 16), whereas W. 
does it only in the last case (W. line 16). This discrepancy is to be 
explained by the fact that I read out the text in slow tempo, and by 
so doing no *'sandhi" phenomenon was heard by my informant. 

(3) In the written as well as in the spoken language the -i, at the 
end of the -\ei, -ne'i, -se'i and similar tense-suffixes is written and 
pronounced when the sentence is considered as finished ; if more 
words follow in the sentence, however, it is generally dropped. It 
is a mere matter of euphony, to which W. has in this case not con- 
formed, probably because I may have led him to believe by the 
intonation of my voice that the sentence was not finished. 

(4) In the Cherokee syUabaiy the system of the surd and sonant 
velars and dentals is very imperfectly worked out. As a result, the 
Cherokee themselves are quite inconsistent in using the symbols for 
g, k and d, t. The matter is made more complicated by the actual 
existence of the so-called "intermediates" in their phonetics. This 
discrepancy is an illustration of this state of affairs. 

(5) Ay. omitted the symbol for the -di- syllable here, mthout 
which the word has no meaning. W. consequently interpolated it. 

(6) Although such phonetic phenomena as breath, stops, etc., are 
quite frequent in Cherokee linguistics, the syllabary very imper- 

" The figures in parentheses following the words as written by W. refer to the 
explanations in the following paragraphs. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 5 

fectly pro\'ides for the representation of the former; the latter are 
disregarded completely. In the written docmnents they are there- 
fore left to the reader to discover, as in W.'s text here; or else they 
are represented by various very clever but inadequate, and especially 
quite uncoordinated, de\aces, as in Ay.'s text, where the stop follow- 
ing tiie t is indicated by \viiting the -d(o)- syllable for it. 

(7) The -tl- phonem, which is so common in Cherokee, has no 
specific symbol. It is usually represented by the complex: -(d)a-l(i)-, 
as by Ay,; more rarely by: -(d)a-l(a)-, the symbols used in this in- 
stance by W. (W. line 16). In lines 17 and 19, however, W. conforms 
to the general usage. 

(8) The word as written by Ay. is the nearest approach to the 
spoken language; it is, however, commonly written as in W.'s version. 

It appears from the foregoing notes that, as I said, the few and 
slight differences that can be found are mainly phonetic. These are 
not of a nature to invite skepticism as to the accuracy of the texts. 
Moreover, since writing them, it has been possible, by further re- 
search, to discover additional texts and to obtain from other medicine 
men copies of separate formulas. Some of these are identical with 
those in the Ay. manuscript. They must be either later copies or 
earher predecessors, if not the actual originals, from which some of 
the Ay. formulas were copied. 

Comparing two versions wherever this was possible has again proved 
that the method used in reconstituting the texts is flawless. 

In order not to commit Mr. Mooney's name, and to take my own 
responsibility, I have thought it advisable to make a definite state- 
ment as to what part of this paper is Mooney's and how much of it 
is my work. 

As has already been clearly stated, the credit for the discovery of 
the manuscript and for the first work on it is Mooney's. I am also 
very much indebted to his former pubHcations on the Cherokee tribe 
and to many items of interest found in his manuscript notes. \^Tier- 
ever I have made use of this material this has been exphcitly stated. 

Mooney transUterated and translated the formulas (free transla- 
tions) and wrote explanatory comments, some of them quite lengthy, 
to accompany them. It should be borne in mind that this work was 
done by Mooney about 40 years ago, at a time when methods for 
studying the native languages and the phonetic notations to record 
them had not attained the same degree of perfection they now boast 
of. That is the reason why it has been deemed expedient to take 
down the texts anew, as has already been explained in detail. 

I have, moreover, considered that the value of the texts would be 
considerably enhanced by an interlinear translation, which I have con- 
sequently added. The accurate analysis and the grammatical work 
necessary to obtain the data for these iaterhnear translations have in 


some cases considerably influenced the free translations, so that, in 
the second part of this paper, viz, the texts, all responsibility for the 
phonetic texts, and tlie interUnear and free translations rests with the 

As for the explanatory notes and comments wliich Mooney had 
written for eveiy formula, these could not possibly be improved upon. 
In some cases, however, I was able to collect items of information 
that cast an additional Ught on the subject; sometimes I was able to 
actually catch a belief or a practice in the process of change and evolu- 
tion ; or again, I got the individual point of view of different medicine 
men. All tliis was carefully noted and is added to Mr. Mooney's 
explanations, inclosed in brackets. 

I have furthermore collected all the botanical specimens of which 
mention is made in the manuscript. For the identification of these I 
am obhged to Air. Paul C. Standley of the United States National 

Finally I wrote an introduction which gives as extensive a survey 
of Cherokee beliefs and practices with regard to disease and medicine 
as is necessary to fully imderstand the formulas and prescriptions of 
the Ay. manuscript. Although every formula contains a few ele- 
ments that inlierently belong to it, and may not be met with in any 
of the others, yet there is in all of the formulas an underljdng complex 
of ideas that is basically the same. Whereas those elements that 
specifically belong to a given formida are better explained in a short 
note commenting on them, and affixed to that particular formula, it 
has been thought advisable, in order to avoid constant repetitions, 
and also in order to present a more synthetic picture of the whole, to 
give a broadly sketched and general outHne of the subjects treated: 
Disease, its nature and its causes; the means by which disease is 
diagnosed and cured; the materia medica and the curing methods; of 
the person who is constantly associated with all of this, the medicine 
man. Short chapters on birth and death have been added, as well 
as a general introduction to the formulas. 

Lengthy as these introductory notes may seem, yet they have been 
strictly limited to the subject matter contained m the Ay. manuscript. 
I have modified my first intention, which was to append in copious 
notes any parallels with which I am acquainted. However, the time 
for a comparative work of wdde scope on primitive medicine has not 
yet come, our special loiowledge being far too inadequate to justify 
generalizations. I have therefore considered that it would be better 
to give as exhaustive a survey as possible of Cherokee medical lore 
and custom; a collection of monographs of this kind will be the mate- 
rial from which once a comparative study of the medicine and of the 
science of " primitive " peoples, will be compiled. The only parallels I 
have drawn attention to are such as may shed light on questions of 


origin and diffusion, influence from missionary activities, from the 
white mountaineers, or even from the negro slaves of the region. 

The Writer of the Manuscript 

a'^yo^'^rni', i. e., "he is swimming (l^abitually) ", "he is a swimmer," 
(pi. 4), is the writer, or as might be more fit to state it, the compilator 
of the present manuscript. (On the Cherokee method of compilating 
manuscripts of this description, see pp. 157-159.) 

He died m 1899, at 65 years of age. He was Mooney's main in- 
formant on the history, mythology, and later especially on the medi- 
cine and botany of the Cherokee. On his personality, see what 
Mooney says about him in his Myths, pp. 236-237. The lucky chance 
by which Mooney got scent of the existence of the manuscript, and 
how he ultimately obtained it, are related by him in his SFC, pages 

The son, t'a'mi (i. e., Tom), and a grandson, ocltascfski (Dancer), 
of Ay. are still living on the reservation, but neither of them has 
succeeded him in his medical practice. 

The memory of Ay. is still treasured by the Cherokee of the pres- 
ent generation. He is looked upon as one of the last old, wise men, 
such as there are now none left. 

General Background — Informants Used 

The territory of the Cherokee that once covered the better part of 
three States (see map in Mooney Myths, pp. 22-23) has been reduced 
to a small reserve that can be crossed from end to end in a day's 

For ample details regarding the historic past of the Cherokee, and 
especially of the present reservation of the Eastern Band, the reader 
is referred to the excellent liistorical sketch by James Mooney in his 
Myths, pages 14-228. 

Of the seven villages of the reserve, k^o'^lang^yi' (i. e. "the Raven's 
place," generally called Big Cove or Swayney by the whites) was 
selected for our stay. There were many reasons that all but enforced 
this choice: Lying in a secluded cove, of difficult and at some times 
of the year of impossible access, with a population of far more con- 
servative people than that of the villages lying nearer the boarding 
school and the Government offices, tribal life has conserved much of 
its aboriginal flavor in Big Cove. Especially the beliefs and prac- 
tices relating to medicine are still rampant in this community to such 
an extent that of the 15 families that constituted the population of 
the cove 10 people were avowed medical practitioners, whereas three 
or four more occasionally took up the practice of medicine as a side 


The people are mostly agriculturists, and very primitive tillers of 
the soil, and turn to fisliing and to what Uttle hunting there is still 
to be done as the seasons and the white man's law allows! They live 
as a rule in 1-room log cabins, covered with hewn boards, although 
five or SLX famihes hve in frame houses built by natives or half 
bloods that have learned the art in the Government schools. The 
cabins are scattered about the two slopes of the cove, at least 500 to 
600 yards, often a mile and more, from each other. This does not 
prevent the inmates from loiowing all that happens in the valley. 
Even if Cherokee eyes are no longer trained on the warpath, they are 
still annojdngly keen! 

There is quite a remarkable spirit of tribal and social solidarity 
reigning among the people (cf. pp. 80-81); against a white intruder, 
whether he be a Government official or not, a glacial reserve is ob- 
served, and it takes weeks and months in some cases to break down 
this inhibition against the whites. These people have known abom- 
inable treatment and tyrannic oppression at our hands, and they 
know how to remember. Their only word by which they can refer 
to a white man is identical with their expression for " (he is) a mean 

It was quite difficult to coax the only man who had a spare room — 
a dilapidated attic, used as a storeroom for all nondescript scraps 
and heaps of filth and rubbish — into allowing us to live in it. Finally, 
the almightj^ dollar scored a victory over his patriotic tribal feelings, 
and we were indifferently, if not reluctantly, admitted to share his 
leaky roof. This attic was the best post of observation one could 
have wished for: not only did it from three sides command a view" of 
the most important section of the valley, but also the "baU ground" 
near the river, and the five main trails of the cove could be leisurely 
observed without any one suspecting it. But the facilities these 
quarters afforded us for studying the home fife of the family we fived 
with w^ere an even greater advantage; the floor of rough-hewn rafters 
had cracks in different places; this exposed our landlord underneath 
us to a shower of boiling coffee whenever our primitive stove toppled 
over, but also afforded us the immense pleasure of listening at nights 
to the conversation, the songs, and the other manifestations of family 
life going on round the hearth fire. 

The very fact that we had come from so far, and from the east 
(the direction of favor, luck, and fortune), "to learn their language, 
and to Hsten to their beautiful stories," that we fived wuth one of 
their own people in his house, that we cut our owti wood, carried our 
owTi suppfies, etc., gradually smoothed the frown from many faces 
and softened the scowling look in many eyes. Soon we had pro- 
gressed so far that we knew the joy of being looked upon, if not as 
one of them, at least as congenial neighbors. 


a^'yii^'t'Di (■"owimmer"), the writer of the manuscript 





On account of the special nature of the work it was not easy to 
find the right sort of informants. As a whole only medicine men could 
be used. Some of these, even if they were good practitioners were 
but poor informants; others as a matter of principle refused for many 
months to give information. Some of them, however, were ideal 
collaborators, and for such of them as W., Del., and Og., one is at a 
loss what to praise most in them — their immense fund of knowledge 
or the keenness and the interest they manifested in the work. 

The following is a list of the informants and medicine men cited in 
these pages. Those the names of whom are preceded by two asterisks 
are the medicine men who worked with Mooney and who died be- 
tween his visits and inine; the names preceded by one asterisk are 
those of the medicine men I worked with, but who died during or 
since my stay; the medicine men whose names are not preceded by 
an asterisk are those I worked with, and who are, so far as I know, 
still alive at the time of wTiting. Since some of the latter are depicted 
in these pages in terms that are not always complimentary, and also 
because much of their activity as described in this paper might bring 
upon them the wrath of people who beheve it their duty to stamp 
out all vestiges of aboriginal belief and practice, it is deemed best to 
cite them by their initials only. I have deposited a detailed list in 
the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology by which these 
individuals can be identified by any ethnologist who may desire to 
make investigations in that quarter of the world in the future. 

Abbreviation used Refers to— 

**Ay o'yo°"'-ni', writer of the manuscript (cf. p. 7). 

**A}^o Avosta, W.'s mother (see Mooney Myths, PI. xiv) (cf. 

'p. 67). 

Del See this paper, pi. 11, b; cf. also pp. 115-116. 

**Gad GaDiGwana'sti, the writer of manuscript III (cf. SFC, 


*J Jukias (pi. 11, a), died 1928 (cf. p. 115). 

*Je W.'s lialf-sister; medicine woman and midwife (see 

pi. 12, a; cf. p. 116). 

Jo Cf . p. 1 13 et seq. 

Jud See pi. 10, a; cf. p. 114 et seq. 

O _ Del.'s mother. Climbing Bear's widow, W.'s and Og.'s 

sister-in-law (see pi. 12, 6; cf. p. 116). 

*0g Died spring 1927; W.'s half-brother, Del.'s uncle (see 

pi. 9, a; cf. p. 1 12 et seq.). 

T Del.'s brother-in-law (see pi. 10, c; cf. p. 111). 

*Ts J.'s father (see pi. 8, a; cf. p. 115). 

**Ut Cf. p. 3. 

W My main informant and interpreter (see pi. 5; cf. p. 109 

et seq.). 
**Wa Thewriterof manuscript II. Gad.'s son (cf. SFC, p. 312). 


Linguistic Notes 

The Cherokee language (Iroqiioian stock) has often been studied, 
but through various vicissitudes only very few of the residts have 
been published. But two attempts to publish a grammar of it have 
been made — one by J. Pickering (cf. p. 1), another by Von der 
Gabelentz. (See Bibliography.) 

Pickering's attempt was not any better than could be expected at a 
time when so little of American Indian Unguistics was known, and 
Von der Gabelentz's sketch, though interesting, is based on material 
gleaned from very inadequate sources. Neither of the two have 
found, for example, the typical Iroquoian system of pronominal 
prefixes in the Cherokee verbal series, nor the difference between the 
static and active verbs. 

There are still two Cherokee dialects extant — the Western (often 
called "Upper") dialect, spoken by the majority of the Cherokee 
in Oklahoma and by a few families in Graham County, N. C, and the 
Central (often called "Middle") dialect, spoken by the Cherokee on 
the Qualla Reservation, where these investigations were made. There 
is historic evidence of a third dialect, wliich may be called the Eastern 
(it has sometimes been referred to as the "Lower") dialect; the last 
Indian, as far as we know, who spoke this dialect died in the beginning 
of this century. 

There is a possibility that one (or two?) more dialects existed in the 
past, but there is very scant and inadequate evidence of this. 

The differences existing between the two dialects that are still 
spoken are small indeed, nor does the extinct dialect seem to have 
diverged much from the two others. Allowing for such phonetic 
sliifts as West. Dial. -tl-> Cent. D. -ts-; W. D. aGi-> C. D. €-; 
C. D. -W. D. -l-> East. D. -r-, the vocabulary is practically the 
same; in the morphology there do not seem to be other differences 
than can be explained by these phonetic shifts; the syntaxis can not 
yet be compared as our knowledge of the Eastern dialect is so scanty; 
nor has the Western dialect been adequately studied. 

The formulas as written in the Ay. manuscript and in the majority 
of the other manuscripts that have since been collected are mostly 
written in the Central dialect. Still, a lot of Western dialect forms are 
to be found in them and there are also a great many archaic, ritualistic 
expressions the meaning of which is rapidly disappearing. (Cf. 
Ritual Language, p. 160 et seq.) 

I have given in the interlinear analysis a translation as correct and 
conveying the Cherokee meaning as faithfully as was found possible. 
Rather than speculate on probabilities or advance conjectures that 
can not be proved, I have indicated by a query mark those elements 
that can not be satisfactorily analyzed. If query marks are met with 


more often than either the reader or the editor Hkes, it should be 
borne in mind that the language in which the formulas are couched is 
a ritiuilistic idiom, often very different from the ordinary language, 
both as regards vocabulary and grammar, and abounding in expres- 
sions wliich even the initiated do not always understand. 

As for this analysis, I have always given in the interlinear translation 
the original meaning as far as this could be ascertained, giving the 
semasiological evolution in footnotes to the free translation. Thus, 
Ga^ni' will be rendered by "arrow" in the interlinear translation, as 
this was its original meaning. In the free translation it will be 
rendered by "bullet," which is its meaning in the context, a footnote 
explaining the evolution in meaning: "arrow" > "bullet" > "lead." 
The same applies to such words as: aDe-'lo° that has gone through the 
following evolution in meaning: "seed(?)" > "bead" ^ "money" 
> "dollar"; or to: kVlo'GWe-'kt'i "locust tree" > "bow" (because 
locust wood was used to make bows) > "gun" (the modem successor 
of the bow). 

It is hoped that a paper on Cherokee linguistics, on which the pres- 
ent wiiter is working, will soon be ready for publication. 

Phonetic Symbols and Abbreviations 

The following list ^viIl serve the double purpose of explaining the 
phonetic symbols and the abbreviations used in the texts, and of 
presenting a summary description of the Cherokee phonetic system 
as I heard it. 

Vowels — Oral : 
Long or short — 
Open — 

a, as in Engl, far, Gm. Band. 
0, as in Engl, not, nought; Gm. Gott. 
V, as in Engl, spoon, you. 

e, as in Engl, air; Gm. Wahlen; French scene. 
i, as in Engl. seat. 
Closed — 

a, as in Gm. einmal; Gm. wahl. 
u, as in Engl. nook. 

e, as in Engl, baby, stain (this sound is very rarely heard in Cherokee, and 
then always finally; where it occurs at all it seems to be a contraction 
of f- (nasalized long e)+i). 
o, only occurs in songs. 
i, as in Engl. pin. 

0, as in Engl, bird, but very short; Gm. Cotter. 
u, a sound between a and o. 

9, vowel of indefinite quality, as in Engl, father, believe. 
Parasitical — 

Phonems that are scarcely audible and occur frequently as weakly articulated 
vowels are indicated by small superior characters: o"", e*', "w, 'y, etc. 


Vowels — Oral — Continued. 
Voiceless — 
A, I, u, o— 

Voiceless vowels, as they are paradoxically called, are phonems produced by 
lips and tongue taking the position to pronounce a vowel (a, i, u, or o, as 
the case may be) ; there may be — and there usually is — a strong emission 
of breath, but as the vocal cords are not brought in action, the phonem 
is voiceless. 
Nasalized — 

;i, £v, but more commonly with less pronounced nasalization, thus: a", a°. 
9', (usually long) as in Fr. bon; as in Engl, don, but longer and nasalized, 
f , (usually long) as in Fr. pain, dessin. 
9', (usually long) as in Fr. un. 

0", (very short) as in Engl, bird, Gm. Gotter, Fr. boeuf, but always short and 
When only a slight degree of nasalization is heard, this is shown by writing 
a small -° after the vowel, instead of writing a hook under it, as is done in 
cases where nasalization is more pronounced. 
Semiconsonants : 

y, w, may be strongly aspirated, when they are written y', w*; may also be 
voiceless, when they are rendered y, w. The w is often preceded by a barelj' 
audible u sound; in this case the phonem is written "w. 
Stops — 
Dental — 

d, voiced, as in Engl. dawn. 

D, intermediate sound between voiced and unvoiced dental, 
t, unvoiced, as in Engl. hit. 

t', unvoiced and aspirated, as in Engl, tin, tan, but with aspiration more 
Velar — 

g, voiced, as in Engl, go, dog. 

G, intermediate sound between voiced and unvoiced velar, 
k, unvoiced, as in Engl. back. 

]f., unvoiced, but pronounced farther back than previous sound. 
k', unvoiced and aspirated, as in Engl, come, can, but with more emphatic 
Nasals — 
Dental — 

n, voiced nasal, as in Engl, can, near. 

^n, the same nasal, but preceded by a hardly audible d. The tongue 
takes the dental position as if about to pronounce d (implosion), but 
immediately the uvula is lowered and the breath escapes by the nose 
passage, without having occasioned the explosion usually accompanying 
the d phonem. 
N, voiceless nasal; always followed by a strong nasal aspiration 
Bilabial — 

m, voiced as in Engl, mother. 
Velar — 

q, voiced, as in Engl, sing, rang. 
Spirants — 
Dental — 

s, unvoiced fricative as in Engl, race, sing. 
z, voiced fricative as in Engl, gaze, doze. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 13 

Consonants — Continued, 
Prepalatal — 

c, unvoiced, as in Engl, shut, fish. 

j, voiced, as in Fr. jambe, genou. 
Palatal — 

X, unvoiced, as in Gm. ich, nicht. 
Laterals — 

1, voiced, as in Engl, lid, rill. 

^1, the same voiced sound, but preceded by the dental element described 

s. v. Nasals, ^n. 
\, unvoiced 1. 
Affricatives — 
Dental — 

dz, voiced, as in Engl, hands up. 

ts, unvoiced, as in Engl, bits, ants. 
Prepalatal — 

dj, voiced, as in Engl. George. 

tc, unvoiced, as in Engl. China. 
Lateral — 

tl, unvoiced 1, preceded by unvoiced dental stop. 

Diacritical Marks 

-*-, the Greek "spiritus asper" indicates breath, aspiration. 

-'-, the Greek "spiritus lenis" indicates glottalization. . 

Q, a hook, turned to the right, under a vowel indicates nasalization. 

-1-, a combination of the "spiritus asper" with the nasalization hook indicates a 

strong nasal aspiration. 
-°-, a small superior n indicates slight nasalization. 

-•, a dot after a vowel, above the line, indicates long quantity of the vowel. 
-:, a colon after a vowel indicates very long quantity. 
-''-, a breve over a vowel indicates abnormally short duration. 
-., a dot after a vowel or consonant on the line indicates a very slight pause. 
-', the "acute accent," following a phonem, indicates primary stress. 
-*, the "grave accent," following a phonem, indicates secondary stress. 
', the "acute accent" printed over a vowel indicates rising pitch. 
\ the *'grave accent" printed over a vowel indicates falling pitch. 

The two latter can be combined to ", i. e., "falling-rising," or to '\ i. e., "rising- 
faUing" pitch. 

Abbreviations Used in the Texts (Interlinear Translation) 

App. — apparently. l. = liquid. 

Dir. = direction. L. = limitative. 

(2) = dual. L. ( = E.) = limitative, used as emphatic. 

E.=emphatic. Loc. = locative. 

Excl. = exclamation. On. = onomatop. 

H., Hab. = habitually. 6ol. = solid. 

kn.-=kneadable. T. L. = temporal-locative. 

Words or parts of words between brackets [ ] in the texts were 
written by the native compilator of the manuscript by mistake. 

Words or parts of words between parentheses ( ) had been omitted 
by him but have been interpolated by J. Mooney, by W., my inter- 


preter, or by myself. In every case the interpolation is accounted 
for in a footnote. 

Words or sentences between brackets, in the explanatory notes 
foUow-ing every one of the formulas, are by the editor. All the rest 
in these explanatory notes is the work of James Mooney. 

Nature of Disease 

Many of the facts contained in this paper are bound to remain 
unintelligible if no sound understanding is gained into the Cherokee 
conceptions of disease. 

These are not by any means so simple or uniform as many theorists 
are wont to ascribe to peoples at this stage of ciilture. 

Disease in general is commonly referred to by the v%-ord: u'3'u'Gi, 
which is no doubt related with the stem V-yuG- "resentment" (cf. 
Gpyu'ca — "I have resentment toward thee.") 

In the ritualistic language of the formulas, however, this expression 
never occurs, vlsce-'no^ always being used in its stead. The original 
meaning of this word has now been lost, even by the medicine men, 
who always claim it merely means ''the disease present in the body," 
and Mooney accordingly invariably translated it as "the intruder." 
Although this way of translating it conveys its general meaning, 
there is cause to discuss it somewhat further. It appears from various 
expressions that can be compared with the one under discussion that 
the meaning would be "that which is important." Although this 
concept is usually rendered Galo''°kw'tt*yu' in the ordinary language, 
yet such expressions as the following are still in constant use: 

i;lsGe''Do'' dzt'lu^Gi', "I came on important business." 

(Ga)Do*'iyi;lsG€"'Do° *Q'li;*Gi', "What on earth didst thou come in 
here for?" (implied: It must be very important, else thou wouldst not 
have come). 

fG9-'wi;lsGe''Do° "of but trivial worth; not important." 

These expressions clearly prove what the true meaning of the term 
is. It would thus appear that it is one of the many "euphemistic 
terms" which the Cherokee, as so many other tribes and peoples, use, 
and the object of which is to allude to a dreaded concept by a (respect- 
ful) circumlocution, so as not to offend it, or so as not to bring about 
its appearance, its "materiaUzation," we might say, by calling it by 
its common name. 

The i;lsGe'Do° is the disease as it is present in the body of the suf- 
ferer. Although it is invisible, intangible, and in all other respects 
immaterial, it very often may manifest its presence by material means, 
as swellings, protuberances, or even by worms and insects. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 15 

It does not as a rule torment a person of its own free will; it is inert 
of itself, but is subdued to the will of more powerful agents, spirits, 
ghosts, or even human beings, who may cause it to enter the body of 
those persons whom they wish to harm. 

The idioms of the formulas seem to imply that the i;lsGe*'Do° is not 
so much put into the ^actim, as under him; the expression: 
Dunu'^yHamle'^i' "he (the disease causer) has put it (the disease) 
under him, it appears," always being used. How the disease then 
finally enters the victhn under whom it has been put is not clear. 
There is a consensus of opinion among the medicine men that it 
enters the body somehow, but on the question as to whether this in- 
troduction takes place by way of a natural orifice or whether it is 
possible for a disease to enter the body anywhere, not one of the 
medicine men cared to commit himself. 

From the fact that an ylsGe*'Do° is present in a person's body it 
by no means follows that an illness is the instantaneous result: the 
disease may be present in a dormant, latent condition, and often 
months, or even years after the revengeful animal-ghost or spirit has 
"moculated" the person the malady may become "virulent." It is 
easy to see how powerful a means this conception must be toward 
consohdatmg the prestige of the medicine man, enabling him as it 
does to explain many diseases, for which there is no evident cause, 
by events and dreams of many months or years ago, and to explain 
how it is that certain acts and infractions of taboos that, according to 
the general belief ought to be followed by the contraction of a disease, 
apparently remain \^dthout any immediate results. 

The presence of an i;lsGe"'Do°, however, does not account for all 
the cases of sickness. There are, for example, the ailments due to 
"our sahva being spoiled." The Cherokee believes that the saliva 
is located in the throat and that it is of capital importance in human 
physiology; as a matter of fact, the physiologic role they ascribe to 
the saUva would lead us to believe that they consider it as important 
as the blood and the gall. When the saliva is "spoiled" the patient 
becomes despondent, withers av/ay, and dies. 

The most frequent causes of this state of affairs are dreams, es- 
pecially the dreams caused by the ghost people (see p. 26), but also 
those caused by snakes and fish. The belief is based no doubt on 
the feeling of oppression and anguish that accompanies many dreams, 
especially those of the "nightmare" variety. 

A state of iU health very much akin to the one just mentioned, 
and where no ulsGe-'no'' is believed to be present, is caused by an 
enemy of ours feeling u-'ya UDa''N*to, "of a different mind" toward 
us, "different" here again being a euphemistic term for "bad" or 

7548°— 32 3 


This is usually ascribed to the activities of a human enemy and 
refers to a psychopatholo2:ical state rather than to any other disorders. 
The victim is utterly despondent and dejected and seems to be the 
victim of a severe case of chronic melancholy. 

Another explanation that is offered in some cases, and one which 
is more apt to cause surprise, as it is not common to the Indians of 
the eastern United States, is that the illness is caused by the action of 
a human being who has ravished the soul of the patient. The fact 
that one's soul has been buried does not result in instant death : one 
may live without it for six or eight months, or even for a year. But 
if the party working on behalf of the victim is not successful in 
ultimately remo\dng the ban, death is incAa table. The symptoms 
ascribed to an illness of this order do not differ materially from those 
belonging to "having one's saliva spoiled" or to the illness caused 
by some one "having his mind different toward us." Tliis makes it 
the easier for a medicine man who does not succeed in curing a patient 
to make a new diagnosis, and to change his treatment from one, 
the object of which was to dislodge the spoiled sahva, to a new one 
aiming at removing the ban from the buried soul of the patient. 

The way in which the medicine man finds out what is actually 
the cause of a given disease will be discussed under the caption of 
Diagnosis (p. 39). Sometimes, however, a diagnosis, however ac- 
curate, will fail to disclose the actual cause of the ailment. A favorite 
explanation in such a case is to ascribe the evil to the fact that the 
patient "has dreamed of different things." It is implicitly under- 
stood that this means "different, or all sorts of bad tilings." Since 
in this case the causes are complex, it is considered that the treat- 
ment must be the same, and a medicine is prescribed consisting of a 
decoction of as many as 24 different plants. 

Nobody ever becomes ill without a cause. And with very few 
exceptions every individual is responsible and blamable for the dis- 
eases he contracts. 

A distinction is made between dangerous and less serious diseases, 
but even the latter have to be adequately cared for and attended to ; 
for disease senders and causers, whether human or nonhuman, have 
a predilection for sending disease to a person when he is already in a 
weakened condition; they know that then they stand a far better 
chance to be successful and attain their ends. 

General Semeiology 

Although very little value is attached to what might be called a 
scientific symptomatology by the Cherokee, a few remarks about the 
subject are not out of place here. 

As will soon appear from a glance at the titles of the formulas, the 
different ailments themselves are usually called by names that refer 




to one or to several of the more striking symptoms; as "when they 
have a headache," "when their eyes droop," "when they have a dry 
cough," "when they discharge shmy matter from their bowels," etc. 

As a rule, only the main symptom — that is, the phenomenon which 
the patient or the medicine man considers as the main symptom — is 
considered to be of any importance, and as a result of this many ail- 
ments that are of an entirely different pathological nature are classed 
as one and the same disease, because headache, for example, is the 
most unpressive symptom. 

Yellowness of the skin, black rings round the eyes, headache, 
swellings, and the nature of the feces and of the m'ine are practically 
the only general signs which the medicine men consider as being of 
any importance. 

Some may be impressed by the rationality of this symptomatology ; 
but it should be borne in mind that the deductions made from it, 
and the treatment followed as a result of it, are by no means as rational 
as we are led to expect. 

Headache is not so much a symptom as a proof that a group of 
birds have invaded the patient's head, and are there carrying on in a 
way which is not conducive to the rest of the victim. A swelling or 
a dilatation of the stomach in no waj' indicates a trouble of the diges- 
tive tract, but is merely the outward evidence of the ulsGe-no^. 
Diarrhea in children is evidenced by the nature of the feces, but is 
explained by the fact that two rival teams of "Little People" are 
playing a ball game in the child's stomach. 

More of the symptoms that are known and that are occasionally 
mentioned and taken into consideration will be discussed with the 
relevant formulas. 

Disease Causes 

natural causes 

However primitive and unsophisticated may be the views of a 
tribe on disease and its causes, and however great may be the share 
of mysticism and occultism in its explanation of the events of daily 
life, yet there is almost everywhere a recognition of natural agency 
if not for some of the ailments, at least for some accidents. 

A Cherokee, wounded by falling with his hand on the cutting edge 
of his ax, or breaking his leg when sliding off a foot log when crossing 
the river, may, if he has a turn of mind given to the mysterious and 
the occult, explain those accidents by the machinations of an enem}'', 
but the chances are that he will look upon them in a very fatalistic 
way, and will search for no hidden cause to explain so obvious a fact. 

But one should never be too sure. If the same Cherokee slides 
down a precipice through a lump of rock crumbling away beneath his 
foot, or if he is wounded by a stray arrow, or by a tree branch falling 


on his head, his imagination forthwith finds cause for speculation, 
and he may come to the conchision that the "Little People," or the 
"Mountain People" have become angry at him and have taken 
vengeance by the means just stated. 


If even in cases where the natural course and cause of events 
seems evident and obvious, a mythologic explanation may be ad- 
vanced, what are we to expect when it becomes necessary to account 
for such mysterious, unexplainable, insidious changes of condition to 
which disease subjects our body and mind? 

The man who but two or three daj^s ago was a living image of both 
Hercules and Adonis, and who came home from the mountain carry- 
ing on his shoulder a tree trunk of formidable weight and dimension 
as lightly as if it were but a bark canoe, to-day lies prostrate, pain 
and terror stricken, with haggard looks and sallow complexion, 
suffering, pantiag, and gasping. . . . 

The buxom woman, from w'hom last week a chubby, healthy 
baby boy "jumped down," as the Cherokee express it, is now suffer- 
ing more than ever she did, and feels herself as being burned by a 
scorching internal fire . . . 

The sprightly baby, which ever since it moved was as alert and 
busthng as a young chipmunk or a scampering squirrel, suddenly 
lapses into spasmodic convulsions, or lies motionless vdtb haggard 
eyes wide open, as those of a terror-stricken rabbit . . . 

Why? For what reason? 

When we think of how, in a civilized community, as soon as any- 
thing uncanny happens, as soon as the Awful Incomprehensible 
makes its presence felt, even the sophisticated lose their reasoning 
faculties and grasp at ridiculous explanations and at impossible 
hopes, how can we scoff at the conclusions these poor people reach? 

The man who became ill so suddenly has had a quarrel a week or 
so ago wdth an ill-reputed medicine man, who told him, as they 
separated, that he would hear about him again. The wizard has 
shot an invisible flint arrowhead into his bowels. 

The woman who had known the joys of such a happy delivery had 
not heeded the su})sequent taboo, prohibiting all warm food to any 
one in her condition. That is why she is now being consumed by an 
internal fire. 

The baby is now paying the penalty of his mother having partaken 
of rabbit meat during her pregnancy, six months or so ago. And that 
is why it is now assuming the cramped position, so reminiscent of the 
hunchback position of a squatting rabbit, or why its eyeballs are so 




These are but some instances taken at random; but let us in a 
systematic and methodical way make a survey of the different 
disease causes and we will be the better prepared to comprehend the 
Cherokee way of treating them. 


As will readily be seen from the "List of spirits" on pages 44-50, 
the Cherokee believe in ciuite a remarkable collection of beings whose 
major occupation seems to be to pester the inhabitants of this planet 
^\'ith all possible and impossible varieties of ailments. 

The motives of these spirits, whether they be of an anthropomorphic 
or of a zoomorphic type, are mostly very human and justifiable — 
they take revenge for slights, lack of respect, abuses, etc., of which 
they have been the subject at the hands of the human beings. This 
holds especially for the animal spirits, the Little Deer, the White 
Bear, etc., who are all the tireless and valiant defenders of their 
particular animal clan and who mete out justice and take vengeance 
for the conduct of neglectful and disrespectful hunters. 

There are hardly any spirits that are, per se, benevolent or ne- 
farious; they may be one or another, according to circumstances. 
One spirit may send a disease as a punishment, and yet may on another 
occasion help the same individual to overcome another spirit. 

As a rule the spirit who has caused a disease is never prevailed 
upon to take the disease away; the office of another, rival, spirit is 
called upon to do this. 

Spirits do not merely send disease of their own initiative; they 
may be prevailed upon to do so by human agency, by witches (see 
p. 29) or by man killers (see p. 33), for instance. 

According to some informants it would seem that spirits may 
exercise their nefarious power quite arbitrarily; the sun may cause a 
headache without any apparent reason, or without any plausible 
cause. This is, however, so exceedingly rare that it is quite possible 
that this view is foreign to earher Cherokee conceptions, and that 
such an allegation is now made simply because the earlier explana- 
tion has been lost. 

Let us now pass in review the more important of these anthro- 
pomorpliic spirits. By far the most important is 

The Sun. — In everyday language there is no distinct word for 
"sun" or "moon." This is a common feature of all the Iroquoian 
dialects and of many other North American Indian languages; 
ng-^Do' conveys the meaning of "luminary"; if the distinction has 
to be expressed the locutions used are: 

UQ-^Do' f'ca e'!i "The luminary that is (that lives) in the day- 
time," viz, the sun. 


riQ-^Do' sgno''}'! e'U "The luminary that is (that Uves) in the 
nighttime," viz, the moon. 

In the rituaUstic language, however, the sun is always referred to 
either as une'^tlano^i or Ge''yaGi;''Ga. 

The first of these expressions means: "He has apportioned, allotted, 
di\-ided into equal parts," doubtlessly referring to the time-dividing 
role of the sim. The same stem is used to express the allotting of 
the tribal territory to the individuals that are entitled to a part, 
"an allotment," of it. 

Since this un€'"tlano*'i has always been looked upon as their most 
powerful spirit by the Cherokee, the missionaries have read into 
his name the meaning of "Great Spirit," "Creator," and hence the 
verb-stem y-ne*tl- is now gradually acquiring the meaning of "to 
create," a concept absolutely foreign to its piimary meaning. 

It is now well-nigh impossible to gain a clear conception of the part 
which this spirit must have once played in Cherokee reUgion. Only 
a very few of the older people can shed any Ught on his true nature. 
Some who have been missionized to some extent identify this spirit 
with the God of the Christians; others, even if they do not go qiute so 
far, have absolutely forgotten that une-'tlano'Ji is identical with the 
sun, and have even no idea of the sex of this spirit. 

Although tliis spirit was not considered responsible for the origin 
of things (see Mooney, Myths, pp. 239, 248), yet he must once have 
had the reputation of a most eminent spirit, if not of the preeminent 
deity. When such very important tribal or ritualistic events take 
place as the ball game, or the search for medicine, he is always invoked 
in a very humble and propitiating way. He and the Fire (they are 
stUl by a few of the oldest informants felt to be one and the same 
person) are the only spirits to which prayers, in the true meaning of 
the term, are ever offered ; of them things are asked, while other 
spirits are merely commanded to do things. 

If it were not for the fortunate fact that another ritualistic name 
of this important spirit has been preserved it might not now be 
possible to definitely identify the sex of this spirit; the name 
G€''yaGu*'G8, however, makes it clear that a femmine person is 
m.eant (aGe*'ya "woman"); -gu'go can not be identified with certainty; 
probablj'- it is a dialectical variant of the suffix -GO'Ga "very impor- 
tant"; "primus inter pares"; "par excellence" (cf. *tDa-'"vv€'t'GO'Ga' 
"thou most powerful wizard"; ayo°'Go*Ga' "but I myself indeed"). 

Another proof is found in the etiological myth explaining the 
black spots on the "face" of the moon as a result of the love affair of 
the moon with the sun, his sister. (See Mooney, Myths, pp. 256- 

Only rarely do we find evidence that the sun sends disease, although 
a couple of cases have come to my attention where she is alleged to 


have caused headache (insolation?). No one could give the reason 
why the sun causes disease. An explanation is found in a myth 
where it is stated that the sun causes fever because she hates to see 
her grandchildren (the human beings) screw up their faces when 
they look up at her. (Mooney, Myths, p. 252.) 

As une*'tlano!'i the sun is often called upon to cure disease, 
however, and she is invariably addressed in the prayers that are 
recited to ask pennission to gather plants and simples. 

The Fire. — We find the fire so closely associated with the sun that 
their identity could plausibly be surmised, even if there were no actual 
and definite proof of it. 

The fire but rarely sends disease, and then only because of our 
disrespectful conduct; thro\\'ing the offal of anything we have chewed 
into the fire results in our being visited ^dth toothache; urinating on 
the ashes that have been thrown outside exposes us to a disease as 
the one referred to in Formula No. 4. 

It is often addressed as "our grandparent," opening his (her?) 
sheltering arms in affection, and surrounded by us, his (her?) grand- 
children. Epithets, as "Ancient white," "Ancient red," are often 
bestowed upon it. The hunter, when returning from a successful 
trip, never neglected to offer a particle of meat, usually the liver of the 
animal, to it, but this custom is now well-nigh obsolete. It is unfor- 
tunatei}" not now possible to ascertain whether this offer was intended 
for the fire, in its capacity as emanation of une"'tlan5!i, or simply as 
a recompense for the fire's divinatory offices, as the hunter usually 
consults the fire prior to his departure as to where he will be able to 
locate and kill game. 

There is only one instance of the fire curing an ailment by its own 
virtue, viz, where burns and scalds caused by flames are exposed to 
the fire, "so that the fire should take the pain back," but there are a 
great many instances where the curing virtue of the fire is relied 
upon as an additional element in the cure. In all the cases, viz, where 
the patient has "to be hit" (see p. 62), the medicine man, prior to 
this operation, warms his hands near the fire. Usually a few live 
coals are taken from the hearth on a shovel, in a dish, or a flat vessel, 
and put near the patient; the medicine man warms his hands over these 
coals before he starts "rubbing the disease away." 

The fire is also generally invoked against all disease caused by 
"cold-blooded" animals, as the terrapin, snakes, fish, etc. (Mooney, 
Notes), and also often against complaints caused by Frost, Cold, 
the Blue Man, etc. 

Another case where the curing virtue of the fire is resorted to 
is when an infusion, prior to being dnmk by the patient, or to being 
rubbed on his body, is "strengthened" by dropping four or seven live 
coals into it. 


The considerable role the fire plaj's in divination ceremonies is 
retained for discussion in a future paper deahng with that subject, 
when also the use made of the fire in a "man-ldlHng" ceremony 
will be amply described. 

Ihe Moon. — The moon, although he is the brother of the sun 
(see p. 20), is not very prominent in the tribal mythology, nor does he 
play a part of any importance in the folklore. 

It would appear, however, that this loss of popularity is of rather 
recent date, since very old customs, such as the "going to water" 
(see p. 150), with every new moon seem to indicate that the moon cult 
must once have been of far greater importance than it is now. 

The diseases held to be caused by the moon are very scarce; blind- 
ness is one of them. It is furthermore believed that if, at new moon, 
a person sees the luminary for the first time through the trees he ^\-ill 
be ill all the following month. It may be that originally this illness 
was considered to be caused by the moon, but such a belief does not 
exist now; it is now merely looked upon as an omen. (See p. 37.) 

The moon is never appealed to vdih. a view to dispelling disease. 
This offers the more cause for surprise, as the moon must once have 
been the object of great respect. It is still occasionally addressed as 
"grandparent," the only spirit to share this honor with the Sun and 
the Fire. 

The Cherokee believe that when a person sees the new moon of the 
month the first time he must look at him and s&y: 

G9"yo*'lfGa' €Di;-'du e'ti skt'^'sti' 

I greet thee maternal grandfather long time this like it will be 

i-yQ-nj)9 k'Ja"!i'' Dt'GmdaGo"wa.t3°.ti' 'tGe^'se'sti' 

over there continually thou and I to be seeing one it will be 


("How do. Grandpa! At the time when it uill be like this again 
(i. e., next month) we wiU still be seeing each other." (i. e., I will still 
be alive.) 

Pronouncing this salutation formula is a sure means of safeguarding 
against all sickness or accidents throughout the ensuing month. 

The River. — The River cult of the Cherokee has formed the object 
of a paper read by James Mooney before the Columbus meeting of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, in August, 
1899, and which has been reprinted.'^ This paper is practically 
exhaustive, and what small additional points of information have 
been obtained subsequently by Mooney or by me will be found in 
their relevant places in these pages. 

12 The Cherokee River Cult, in JAFL., January- March, 1900, pp. 1-10. 

oIbrecIts] the swiimmer manusceipt 23 

The river, usually addressed in the ritualistic language as — 

yQ""wi' Ga'n9^-'Do" ''Long Human Being," 
a'sku'ya Ga'no'f'Do" ''Long Man," 
I'na'Do" Ga'na'f'Do" "Long Snake," 

continues to enjoy a great deal of credit and is still an object of sincere 
respect to the more traditionalist of the Cherokee. The rite of going 
to water, however, is rapidly disappearing from the tribal life, and 
after another couple of generations all that will probably subsist of 
the river cult will be a few survivals, unintelligible even to those who 
practice them. 

The river sends disease to those who insult it by such actions as 
throwing rubbish into it, by urinating into it, etc. As a vengeance for 
the latter act it causes a disease from a description of the symptoms of 
which it appears that enuresis is meant. 

The use of river water in the preparation of medicine is discussed 
under Materia Medica (p. 52 et seq.). 

Apart from the rites that are performed at the river's edge in such 
ceremonies as "going to water," "for long Hfe," in divination and 
incantation ceremonies, which are all described in the notes appended 
to the relevant formulas, attention should here be called to the custom 
of vomiting into the river to get rid of diseases, especially of those in 
which the patient's "saliva has been spoiled." (See p. 63.) 

The patient drinks the emetic at home, while still fasting, and then 
hurries to the river's edge, where he vomits into the water, thereby 
"throwing off the spoiled saliva," and, with it, the disease. If the 
emetic itself does not have the desired result mechanical means are 
resorted to (irritating the uvula with finger, grass stalk, etc.). A for- 
mula is usually recited at the same time by the medicine man accom- 
panying the patient, by which the water is commanded to carry the 
disease down the stream, "to the settlements where (other) people 
live." "In every case where a ceremony is performed at the water 
side, either by a number of persons or by a single individual, it must 
be at daybreak, while the participants are stiU fasting, and the spot 
chosen for the performance of the rite is at a bend of the river where 
the supplicants can face the east while looking upstream." (Mooney, 

ThuTider — Red Man — Two Little Red Men. — The Thunder is referred 
to by these three different names. The two fonner refer to the 
Thunder himself; the latter to his two sons. Often in the formulas the 
Thunder is spoken of as surrounded by a host of Little Red Men, all 

The heavy roUing crashes of thunder are said to be the voice of 
Thunder himself, whereas the hghter, metalhc peals of thunder are 
ascribed to the Little Red Men. 


The Cherokee pretend that the Thunder is the friend of all Indians, 
and that he never kills one; not one case can be cited, they say, of a 
Cherokee having been "struck by the Thunder," whereas white people 
have frequently been killed on the reservation, and scores of trees are 
struck every year. 

The Thunder's role is that of a disease expeller rather than that of 
a disease causer. He and his two sons are the enemies of the Black 
Man and of anything and anybody having his abode in the "Black 
Land," in the "Evening Land," in the "Dark Land," or in the West. 

The only case, it seems, where the Thunder gets angry is when we 
do not observe thejaimo relating to him, and which prohibits refer- 
ring to him as "Red" in the everyday language. The epithet "Red" 
should only be bestowed on him in the ceremonial language, whereas 
in everyday speech he is to be referred to as "White." 

The Two Little Red Men (the Cherokee never explicitly call 
them "Thunder Boys") always rove about together; they are reputed 
to be about 60 centimeters high and to wear a cap, half red, half 
purple, surmounted by a peak, the w^hole looldng "like a German 
military helmet," wliich some of the Cherokee have seen or have 
heard described. s"we*'Gi and tsa^'ni (John), both now dead, 
claim to have seen the Thunder Boys; they looked exactly as they 
had always heard them described; which does not surprise us. 

According to Og., the Two Little Red Men are to be identified 
with the two sons of k'Q:na*'ti (cf. Mooncy, Myths, p. 242); k^ana'ti 
himself being no one else than the Thunder in person. 

Purple Man, Blue Man, Black Man, etc. — There is not much defi- 
nite information to be gathered about these spirits, neither from the 
texts themselves nor from oral information. 

Possibly they owe their existence merely to the desire to oppose 
to the Red Man corresponding men of the different colors, to con- 
form to the color symbolism. 

The Black Man, living in the West, seems in many cases to be 
identical with a ghost. (See p. 26 et seq.). The diseases they cause, 
the nature of their activities, their opponents and antagonists, all 
this supports this impression, and many informants expUcitly and 
spontaneously state that this identity exists. 

The Purple Man is generally called upon to assist in nefarious 
machinations, such as incantations, love conjurations, etc. That 
purple is the color of witchcraft will appear from other facts listed in 
these pages. 

The Blue Man, living in the North, is called upon to act as an 
antagonist in diseases sent by the scorching sun (insolation, blisters, 
etc.). He himself causes such pains and ailments as usually follow in 
the wake of severe frost. 

oIbkechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 25 

Dawi'skulo°\ or Flint, does not play so important a part in Chero- 
kee medicine as he does in the mythology. To his reputation of 
being an ogrelike being he owes the appeal made to him to come and 
frighten the Httle girls at birth, thus enticing them "to jump down" 
from their mothers. (See texts, p. 277.) 

Various Little People. — Finally there are to be mentioned the vari- 
ous kinds of "Little People," y^-'^wi tsu'nsti'' fairylike beings of 
either sex, very small (about 40 cm. high, informants say) with long 
hair falling down to their heels. 

They very seldom are mentioned as individuals, and usually act as 
a group. There are colonies of Little People in the mountains, in 
the rocks, in the water, and in the forests. They live in settlements 
just as usual human beings, have clans, town houses, hold dances 
and councils, etc., and frequently their music and dancing can be 
heard at night by lonely travelers. As a rule they are in^dsible, but 
there are a few cases on record where some rarely gifted individuals 
(e. g., tA\'ins that are being brought up to be witches, cf. p. 129) can 
see them and talk mth them. They can speak Cherokee. 

They are as a rule Idndly inclined toward mankind and may help 
a hunter to find his arrows, or they may care for and feed, a lost and 
spent traveler. But they are also feared as disease causers and are 
believed to especially choose children as their victims. 

Animal Spirits 

The animal spirits so frequently mentioned in the Cherokee for- 
mulas are by no means to be thought of as identical with the speci- 
mens of our earthly fauna. They are the prototypes of our common 
animals and are far more considerable in size, power, swiftness, and 
all other qualities than their earthly successors. They can not be 
seen or heard, nor can 'their presence be felt by any of our senses; 
yet we know what they are hke, and how they behave; we know 
even of what color they are, "WTiite, Red, Blue, etc., "because the 
old people have always addressed them by those epithets." 

It is needless to say that these colors are mainly imaginary; there 
is not only a Brown Otter, but also a Red one, a Blue one, etc. The 
same applies to all other animal spirits, as Deer, Bear, Dog, Weasel, 
Raven, Eagle, Frog, Leech, etc. The same remarks we made with 
regard to the colors of the Purple, Blue, etc.. Men (p. 24) no doubt 
also hold here; we have only the color symbolism (p. 51) to blame — 
or to thank — for the existence of this multicolored spirit fauna. 

The motives of these animal spirits in sending disease are mainly 
dictated by considerations of self-defense, or in a spirit of vengeance 
for the wrong done and the relentless warfare waged against them and 
their species by the human race. This is lucidly shown by the myth 


explaining the "Origin of Disease," collected by Mooney (Myths, 
pp. 250-252). Mooney has also described the role of such animal 
spirits as Little Deer, \\Tiite Bear, etc., so thoroughly that it is super- 
fluous to duplicate those descriptions here. 

For further details regarding the animal spirits the reader is refer- 
red to the "List of Spirits," pages 44-50. 

For a discussion of the animal ghosts, as distinct from anhnal 

spirits, see pages 26-28. 


To the spirits and animal spirits as discussed in the preceding 
paragraphs should be added "ghosts," i. e., according to the Cherokee 
views, the immaterial, spiritual, immortal part of hiunan beings and 
animals that have lived the Ufe and died the death of commonplace 

The motives that entice human ghosts, a'msGt''na (sgl. asor'na) 
and animal ghosts '5°Ha'U (sing, and pi.) to visit mankind %\-ith disease 
and death are quite different and wall be treated separately. 

Human ghosts (a'msGf'na). — When people who have died go to 
tsii'sGino'ci " (the place) where the (himian) ghosts (are) " (see p. 142), 
the place out West where they stay, they feel lonesome and homesick 
and want the company of their friends and relatives. They therefore 
make them sick and suffering, so that they may die and come and 
join them in the Ghost Land. 

It was emphatically stated to me by informants that there is not 
a shadow of malignity or jealousy about this activity of the ghosts of 
the departed ; they act out of pure love, devotion, affection, and all 
other commendable motives. Yet the living are not quite bent on 
this mode the ghosts indulge in of showing their affection, and they 
leave no means untried to escape from the ghosts' influence. I have 
been able to observe real poignant cases, where filial affection forced 
a person's attention again and again on the memory of a dearly 
beloved parent, so much so that he would brood and pine away and 
languish, but at the same time he felt that he must at all costs make 
efforts to forget and to make merry, as thinldng and dreaming about 
the departed ones is the very first symptom of a disease sent by the 

Animal ghosts ('5'^*ta'li). — With the diminishing curve the impor- 
tance of hunting has made mth the Cherokee, they are not now ascrib- 
ing so much power to the animal ghosts as they once did. The 
references to them have to be gleaned chiefly from the formulas, as 
there is now no Cherokee medicine man living who can give any 
satisfactory infonnation on the subject. Mooney had already to 
cope with the same difficulty, and translated 'o^'ta'H as "after-ghost," 
or "secondary ghost," basing his conclusion on the following facts: 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 27 

"Most diseases are ascribed to the influence of ghosts, usually the 
revengeful ghosts of slain animals. But there are two classes of these 
ghosts, the 'antsgi'na' (singular 'asgi'na') and the '""tali" (the ti°- 
being an ahnost inaudible grunt), and it was only after long inquiry 
that it was possible to learn the distinction between them. It is held 
by the shaman that an animal killed by the hunter or otherwise is 
again revived in the same form, and enters upon a new lease of Ufe, 
to be again killed, or to die naturally, as the case may be. This may 
recur an indefinite number of times, probably four or seven, the 
shamans questioned not being able to state. At the final death, the 
animal ceases to exist in the body, and its ghost goes to join its com- 
rades in Usuhi'yi, the night land. One doctor (Ayu^'ini) stated that 
the deer had seven fives or successive animations, each in the same 
deer shape, after which came anniliilation. He was unable to say 
whether other animals were reanimated in the same way, bat such 
seems to be the belief from the evidence afforded by the formulas. 
An example of this reincarnation occurs in the story of the 'Bear 
Man'.^^ The belief differs from the ordinary doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis in that the animal is reincarnated in its original form, instead 
of becoming an animal of another kind. 

"'Asgi'na' is the name applied to the ghost of the original animal 
(or person) after the first death, while the '*^°tafi" is the ghost of the 
successive reincarnations, or as the doctor explained, 'the ghost of an 
animal that has been killed more than once,' the '*^°tali" being the 
more dreaded of the two. 

"The old religion of the Cherokees is now so beclouded and cor- 
rupted by the influence of missionary ideas that it is extremely dif- 
ficult to get an intelligent statement of such points, but it seems pos- 
sible that the original belief assigned to every animal a definite fife 
period, which could not be curtailed by violent means. When an 
animal Hved out this allotted period it died and its body decayed, 
while its spirit became an 'asgi'na' and went to join the other ghosts 
in the night land. If killed before the expiration of the allotted time, 
the death was only temporary, the body took shape again from the 
blood drops (see the story of the "Bear Man") and was reanimated 
by the spirit, now called '"°tali'.' This new existence continued, 
unless again interrupted and again renewed, until the end of the pre- 
destined period, when the body was finally dissolved and the liberated 
spirit took up its journey to the night land, there to remain with its 
kindred shades." (Mooney, Notes.) 

Moreover, Mooney based his conclusions on a beHef of his according 
to which 'o°*ta'fi was etymologically related with t'a^li' "two" (his 
transcription being, respectively, ^^^tafi' and tali')- 

13 See Mooney, Myths, pp. 327-329. 


This is, however, not the case, as will appear from my texts, there 
being two important phonetic differences: 

(1) The surd dental is not aspirated in '5°'ta'li whereas it is most 
decidedly so in t'a^Ii'. 

(2) In '5"Ha'li the liquid is not preceded by a dental implosion as 
it is in t'a^Ii'. 

As for the successive incarnations of the animals, according to Og., 
the only one of my informants who had ever heard of it, this was 
only the case for the bears (as is indeed confirmed by Mooney's story 
of the "Bear Man" (Mooney, Myths, pp. 327-329) and by several 
stories collected by me) ; neither the deer nor any other animals, Og. 
states, had the benefit of a second or of any subsequent lives after 
having once been killed. 

I have found evidence, moreover, that the term 'o^'ta'li was also 
used by the hunter, referring to the particle of meat of a killed animal 
which he offered to the fire to return thanks for his luck. (See p. 21.) 

Finally, by several medicine men still living, 'o°'ta'li is felt to mean 
"the decayed thing," i. e., the offal of a piece of game. The dis- 
respectful treatment extended to their bones and bowels, now, is 
exactly what makes the animals so revengeful toward the neglectful 

From all this I am inclined to beheve that 'o°'ta'li does not mean 
"after-ghost" or "secondary ghost," nor that it specifically refers to 
the ghost of an animal that has been killed before its "lease of life" 
had been completed. Nor did I find the term asGf'na ever used mth 
reference to animal ghosts. 

To come to a conclusion, I think that I am entitled to adhere to 
my explanation, and to my distinction between o:sGt"na "hmnan 
ghost" and '5°'ta'li "animal ghost." 

The diseases sent by these human and by the animal ghosts are so 
multifarious as to include practically the whole of known illnesses and 

Commonly, however, the human ghosts act by "spoiling the saliva" 
of the victhn, whereas the activity of the animal ghosts results in 
troubles that are not so much of a psychopathological order. Rheu- 
matism and dysentery, swellings in the cheek, and violent headaches 
may all be caused in difi'erent patients by one and the same animal 
ghost, e. g., a deer's. On the other hand, several different kinds of 
animal ghosts may all manifest their ill will and take vengeance on the 
human race by inflicting one and the same disease, as rheumatism 
which can be caused by the measuring worm, the rabbit, or the 

A species of animal ghosts to which many ailments are ascribed are 
the various kinds of tcsGO'^ya or insects. 

Olbkechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 29 

"'Tsgaj'a' is a generic term for all small insects, larvae, and wornas, 
excepting intestinal worms. These 'tsgaya' are veiy numerous, hav- 
ing colonies in the water, in the earth, on the fohage of trees, and in 
every decaying log, and as they are constantly being crushed, burned, 
or otherwise destroyed by the hmnan race, they are constantly 
actuated by a spirit of revenge. To accomplish their purpose the 
ghosts of the slain 'tsgaya' 'fonn settlements' in the bodies of their 
victims, usually just under the sldn, and thus cause malignant ulcers, 
watery blisters and swellings, all of which are generally ascribed to the 
'tsgaya.' The 'tsgaya' doctrine of the Indian practitioner is thus the 
equivalent of the microbe theory of the white physician." (Mooney, 


Not only natural and supernatural causes are active night and day 
to shower disease and death on the poor humans; as many, if not more, 
of the calamities of life are to be laid at the door of fellow human 
beings, who through preternatural means have the powder of sending 
mysterious diseases into the bodies and limbs of their neighbors. 


The most dreaded of these human disease causers are the watches. 
Not that their activities and the results of these are very much differ- 
ent from those of the "man-killers" (see p. 33); the latter, however, 
only "work against us" for very sound and obvious reasons, e. g., 
because we have insulted them, poked fun at them, quarreled with 
them, or have given them offense in one way or another; at worst, 
when trying to kill us, they may act as agents of some enemy of ours, 
but at any rate there is usually this "comforting" consideration about 
it, that we are aware and conscious of the motives of their activities, 
and that usually we have only ourselves and our conduct to blame. 
Being careful and courteous in our dealings with "man-killers" may 
considerably diminish the risk of being harmed from their quarter. 
Moreover, counteracting their evil machinations is not so hopeless a 
task as to fight witchcraft. 

The witches are usually referred to as tsiktli' or as so-no-'yi 
a'ne-Do-''i "they walk about during the night." The meaning of 
tsiktli' is Kterally "hooting owl," but since this night bird is considered 
as a bird of HI omen, and because of the mysterious occult power 
ascribed to it, moreover because it indulges in its activities only during 
the night as the witches do, the word has been extended to mean 

A witch is held to be a human being, male or female, who is a 
"powerful wizard " (aDa"'"w€!i', aDa"'"w€a'yu') such as a medicine man 
may become who has "got the utmost" (see p. 87), but the semantic, 


and especially the emotional value given to the word, always convej^s 
concepts expressing baseness, meanness, slyness, an activit}" of an 
insidious, nefarious, deleterious nature. 

These activities are not subject to the same "reasonable" motives 
as are those of the "man-killers"; whereas the latter hann to take 
(just) revenge for some (uncalled-for) offense, the witch liarms simply 
because it is an inherent trait of his or her wicked nature. 

Moreover, whatever the ^vitch can steal of the life, and therefore of 
the vital principle, of the animus, the power, the "orenda" of Ms 
victim, he adds to his own, and this is the reason why witches are 
always hovering about the sick, the feeble, the moribund people; 
invisible as they can make themselves, they put their mouths over 
those of the victims, and steal their breath; according to some inform- 
ants "because they like the taste of sick people's breath; it is so 
sweet"(!); according to others, because stealing their breath comes to 
the same as securing for themselves the victim's vitality, which they 
add to their own. At the time the moribund expires, especiall}^, the 
witch is careful not to miss his chance. 

Although, as a rule, to become a witch one has to be "brought up" 
for the profession (see p. 129), it is possible to become one, even if one's 
parents neglected to go through the necessary ritual and prescrip- 
tions. A peculiar root, that of the scarce a'o-'tliye'o°'sld "it (the root) 
has it (the stalk) growing from its mouth" (Sagittaria latrfolia 
Willd.?),'^ looks like a beetlelike insect, with the stem of the plant 
growing from its mouth. It has to be steeped and drunk, the usual 
fast being observed . If the infusion is drunk and the fasting prolonged 
for four days, you will be able to metamorphose yourself into any 
person or animal living on the surface of the ground; i. e., a man can 
take the shape of a woman, and vice versa; they can also take the 
form of a dog, a deer, an opossum, etc. 

If, however, the treatment is prolonged for seven days you will have 
power to take the shape of animals flying in the air or living under the 
ground ; you will be able to fly in the air or to dive under a mountain ; 
you can at will put on the appearance of an eagle, an owi, a raven, a 
mole, an earthw^orm, etc. 

The metamorphosis into a raven is one of the most common, and a 
witch traveling about in this garb is referred to as k'o-'lano'^ a'j^eit'ski 
"he (is) a raven imitator." 

When traveling about at night a witch of this "degree" veiy fre- 
quentl}^ travels through the air as a flame, a spark, or a light. Some 
informants pretend to have seen that the "medicine" previously re- 
ferred to, and which the witches have to drink, has at certain times of 
the year — some say in spring and early summer — a purplish fire droop- 

'■• This same medicine is given to a dog to make it a sure tracker of game. The 
animal must drink the infusion for four consecutive mornings. It must not fast. 

Ol°brechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 31 

ing from its stem. I have not been able to ascertain whether this 
behef is a mere phantasy or whether it might have its base in the 
phosphorescent qualities of certain plants. Be that as it may, a 
purple flame, a reddish-bkie spark is usually associated with witch- 
craft, so much so that even sporadic flames of that color in the hearth 
fire are believed to forebode the visit of a witch. 

The visit of a witch to a house where one of the imnates is ill is 
countenanced with frantic fright. That is why a number of relatives 
and friends are always watcliing through the night, "guarding (the 
patient) against witchcraft." While a couple of them may be asleep 
two or three more keep awake, "working" near the fire. This work 
consists in smoothing a small heap of ashes, about 20-25 centimeters 
in diameter, aside from the hearth, and occasionally dropping a tiny 
pinch of finely crushed tso''laGa3^9*'°li ("old tobacco," Nicotiana rustica 
L.) on it; the center of the hot ashes are thought of as representing the 
patient's cabin; any particle of the tobacco dust catching fire, to the 
right or to the left of the center, indicates the position from where 
the ^\•itch is approaching. If the dust alights on the center of the 
ashes it is a sign that the witch is right overhead, and should the 
tobacco, as it drops on the center, take fire with a crack or a burst, 
it shows that the witch has already entered the room. In this case 
the burst will cause the death of the witch within four days, if she is 
one of the land that has fasted for four days to attain her occult 
power; within seven days if she is one of the kind that "has got the 

Another method to prevent the witch from approaching is to direct 
the smoke of "old tobacco" against the several points of the compass, 
as will be found described on page 75. 

But the most drastic means of all is to simply shoot the witch with 
a gun; a certain medicine, obtained from a plant (not one of the 
informants could tell me exactly from which plant), has to be mixed 
with the powder, and a hair taken from the crown of the head has to 
be wound round the bullet (many of the Cherokee still use muzzle- 
loading guns); in this practice we find, no doubt, the behefs of the 
Cherokee blended with those of the white mountaineers. 

In order to shoot the witch, however, we must be able to see him 
in his regular human form. This can be attained by fasting until 
sunset for seven days, drinldng an infusion of the same root to which 
the Nvitches owe their power: a*o''thye*5°'ski (see p. 30). 

There are dozens of anecdotes on this subject circulating on the 
reservation, three of which will here be inserted as illustrations. 

I. A long time ago somebody was ill. The people came and sat up 
with him, guarding against witchcraft. They built a fire outdoors, 
and when some of them became sleepy they went outside, and stood 
by the fire, while others continued to watch inside. 
7548°— 32 4 


Those who were standing by the fire outside all of a sudden saw a 
purple fire up in the air; it went toward a house; after a few minutes 
it rose up again, and came back, and dropped on the house of the 
sick person; as soon as the fire fell inside, the person died. This fire 
was a tsiktli'. 

II. Once a man was very ill, caused by -vsatchcraft. Two friends of 
his decided to fast and drink the medicine by which they could see 
witches. ^^ The seventh day they hid themselves outside the house. 
They heard the witch coming,^^ and he aUghted in the yard, and there 
took his human shape and walked toward the house. These two men 
had a gun with them, loaded for the purpose of killing a \\'itch; ^^ they 
fired and hit him, but instead of blood, fire spouted forth from the 
wound. The witch disappeared. 

III. About 25 or 26 years ago ^* T. (pi. 10, c; see p. Ill) was ill. 
His friends were summoned to guard against witchcraft, as he ^^ had 
found out that he was iU by aye-'ltGo-'ci .^ 

yo*'no°Ga^le*'Gi^^ examined by putting tobacco on the fire, but he 
found out that the witch was stronger than he, as the tobacco sparkled 
like a star, but no burst was heard. The next day he tried again, 
but again he found that the witch was stronger than he. So he in- 
structed all the attendants as well as the patient to fast and to drink 
the medicine by which you can see witches. He himself did the same. 
At night he told the attendants to stay inside; he took a burning 
branch from the fire and went out. 

Outside, he saw a man standing near the chimney; he was intently 
gazing at T. through the wall. Climbing Bear could see him be- 
(iause he had drunk the medicine. He passed near by the man, and 
as he passed him, touched the witch with his burning switch. When 
he looked back the witch had disappeared. 

Now, since the witch had been recognized, he was sure to die 
within four or seven days. T. told W., from whom I have the account, 
that the mtch was J. B. of a near-by settlement. And sure enough, 
the third day after the event here related, J. B. died. T. recovered. 

Powerful though witches are, they evidently beHeve in obtaining 
the greatest results with the smallest exertions, and that is why they 
make it a point to attack individuals that are feeble and decrepit, 
as they know that these will far more readily fall a prey to their 
activities than would the more healthy and robust individuals of 

15 Vide supra. 

" In the shape of some bird. 

" Cf. p. 31. 

>8 This was told me in the spring of 1927. 

1* T. being a medicine man could discover this for himself. 

20 Cf. p. 33. 

21 Climbing Bear, now deceased; O.'s husband, Del.'s father, W. and Og.'s 


the tribe. This also explains the exertions of witches against women 
in labor and newly bom infants. (See p. 123.) 

Although witches are most strenuously active when death is 
imminent, they are constantly on the lookout to cast a spell, a disease, 
on an unsuspecting individual, and particulariy to aggravate the 
complaints of the stricken. This reputation they share with those 
other human disease causers, the "man-killers." 


This knack which witches and "man-killers," Dt''Da'n€^'saGt'"ski, 
have to aggravate disease, explains the generic name given to com- 
plaints for the origin of which these disease causers are held respon- 
sible. These names can all be shown to be related with the stems 
-y/-yakt*- "change," and y-ye'l- "likeness." (If a thing, a disease, 
etc., is made to look like another, its original condition is changed.) 

Whereas the process by which a witch manages to "change the 
condition" of a victim for the worse is rather obscure, and can not be 
definitely elucidated, the means by which a "man-killer" attains 
this object is well known and vividly described. He may, by his 
occult power, "change the food" in the victim's stomach, or "cause 
the food to sprout." He may "change our mind to a different con- 
dition," or make a given disease we are afflicted with "as if it were 
like" a more serious ailment. But above all, he may use the most 
orthodox manner of disposing of an enemy, viz, by shooting an 
invisible arrowhead into his body. In a forthcoming paper, in which 
Cherokee incantations and man-killing ceremonies will be described, 
this subject w411 be dealt with in detail. 

aye^'ltGo-'ci Diseases 

Under this name is known a group of diseases that are held to be 
caused by the machinations of a human agent. They are the most 
dreaded of the many complaints the Cherokee knows. 

The term, which is strictly ceremonial, can not be analyzed but 
has -y-ye-1- "likeness" as its root. Mooney has usually translated 
it as "simulators," and this translation is correct in so far as the term 
refers to the action of deluding the vigilance of the patient and medi- 
cine man by sending a disease which looks like another one which it 
really is not. For example, the victim falls ill with indigestion; the 
medicine man ascribed it, according to the current views, to the insects, 
or to animal ghosts, or to some similar cause. But he is wrong. He 
is led astray by the sorcerer who sent the disease, and who "made it 
resemble some such ailment as found by the medicine man in his 
diagnosis"; but the disease is of a totally different nature. 

Even now there are often cases where two parties are waging a 
battle, often lasting weeks and months, pestering each other with 
various aye''liGO''Gi-diseases. 


According to information collected by Mooney, these diseases 
were even sent to each other by friends and relations "as a joke", 
to mutually test their knowledge and aptitude to ward oS such 
attacks. I did not find this view confirmed. 1 


Again and again in these pages proofs will be found of the nefarious 
influence ascribed to a woman during her catamenial period. This 
influence she exercises involuntarily; it is inherent to her condition 
at that time. 

Eating the food she has prepared, touching whatever object she 
has used, even walking along a trail by which she has traveled, may 
cause a painful and obstinate malady. Up to two or three genera- 
tions ago this belief was far more pronounced, and practices ^-ith 
regard to it were obsei-ved much more strictly than is the case now. 
As soon as the first signs of her condition manifested themselves, 
the woman repaired to the o-'si, a small low hut set apart for people 
"under restrictions," as menstruating women, women in labor, and 
probably also for patients suffering from certain diseases; the o''si was 
also reserved for certain acts of a ceremonial nature, as the instruc- 
tion of aspirant medicine men, the recitation of certain myths, etc. 

There is not one o''si left on the reservation, and not even the oldest 
persons remember ever having seen one. The women, therefore, 
nowadays no longer leave the common dwelling place during their 
periods, but abstain from cooldng meals, or from any other duties 
pertaining to the household. The meals are cooked by other female 
members of the household or prepared by the men. 

The Cherokee medicine men are considerably at odds as to the 
actual way in which menstruating women exercise their disease- 
causing influence. According to the view that commonly prevails, 
the mere presence of such a person is sufficient to cause disease, and 
this I consider to be the primary form of the belief. Others, Og. among 
them, held that especially the look of her was nefarious; this would 
indicate a belief that is intimately related with the "evil eye" super- 
stition, and may possibly be of foreign (white?) origin, as the Cherokee 
do not seem to attach any importance to this mode of bewitching. 
The only other instance that can be cited is that of the fascinating 
look of the vkt'e-'na: "if he even looked at a man, this man's family 
would die." (Mooney, Myths, p. 253.) 

It is of import to note that not only the presence of the woman is 
held to be dangerous, but even that of her husband. I have myself 

22 Tjnder this caption onh' the "disease-causing" influence of a mulier men- 
struans is considered. The taboos slue has to observe herself are mentioned 
(p. 120) and will be discussed at greater length in a forthcoming paper, in which 
the sexual life of the Cherokee will be more adequately described. 

Olbreotts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 35 

had the experience that when I visited sick members of the tribe I 
was not granted admission to the cabin until I had been subjected 
from inside, by the patient himself, to a very meticulous and an 
anno^angly intimate cross-examination. (See p. 66.) 

Not only in the domain of siclviiess does a woman in this condition 
exert tliis unfortunate influence, but even on growing plants and 
crops her presence is equally pernicious, whereas if she were to wade 
thi'ough a river where a fish trap is set she would spoil the catch. 

Pregnant women are considered only slightly less dangerous, and 
the harm and havoc they may cause is combated by the same means 
asthatof themenstruantes. (Seep. 120; alsoMooney, Myths, p.442.) 

For further facts relating to these subjects, the reader is referred 
to Childbirth, page 116 et seq. 


The importance the Cherokee ascribe to dreams as causes of disease 
is cpiite remarkable. 

Whereas it appears from the more archaic data available that some 
dreams are the actual cause of many diseases, there is now in this 
ver}^ generation an evolution to be observed from ''dream = disease- 
cause"; to " dream = omen of disease." ^^ In either of those two 
cases it is still possible for the dream to play an active part as symptom. 

The Cherokee, especially those that have kept intact their alle- 
giance to the aboriginal gastronomical ways and manners, dream fre- 
quently, and theii' dreams are often of the "nightmare" variety. 
Hearing them relate a dream of this sort, and their comments upon 
it, makes one more than ever inclined to accept Hofler's theory ac- 
cording to which the conception and the visualization of disease- 
demons have their origin in nightmare dreams. 

Dreams, as a rule, affect the dreamer only, but in a few cases the 
person dreamed about may be the future sufferer. Certain types of 
dreams may occm' more frequently at a certain time than at another; 
a woman during her catamenial period often dreams of "all sorts of 
things" (i. e., of unnatural intercourse, of givuig birth to animals, 
etc.). Dreams may vary also according to the sphere of interest of 
the individual: dza*'dzi (George), a powerful Nimrod before the 
Lord, dreamed of negroes more than W. did, the latter being given to 
dreams of the medicine man's type: Thunder, train, burning house, 
etc. Attention should also be called to the psychological shi'ewdness 
of considering "rheumatism" a result of dreams with sexual contents. 

One individual had to some extent formed his own exegesis: If he 
dreams during winter of a nice summer day, it is going to be 

'" "Fish dreams is a sign our appetite is going to be spoiled," an informant told 
me. From the older texts, however, it appears that it is the very fact of dream- 
ing of fish that causes the disease. 


bitterly cold, he says; if in summer he dreams of a cold winter day, 
it is going to be a nice day. 

As a whole there is a definite rule as to which diseases are caused by 
certain dreams. It is even very probable that at a time when their 
culture was stUl uncontaminated there was a very elaborate and 
definite dream-exegesis. 

I have found it most advisable to list the dreams under three 

1. Dreams that cause definite aUments or death. 

2. Dreams that cause complaints that are not specifically indicated. 

3. Dreams that do not belong to the domain of medicine. 

1. — Dreams Causing Definite Ailments or Death 
Dreams about— Cause 

"Little People" (see p. 25) "Our mind is going to be 

changed" (i. e., insan- 
ity) . 

All kinds of birds Do. 

Sun Fever. 

Moon Do. 

Meat ("lean meat," some say) Toothache. 

Being in deep water Do. 

Rattlesnake or copperhead Toothache; also swelling of 

the body and cancer. 

Persons of opposite sex; sexual intercourse Rheumatism. 

To wrestle with fat person of opposite sex Do. 

Sexual-pathological (incest, vice, etc.) Do. 

Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and similar insects Blindness. 

To burn foot, hand, or finger Snake bite. 

A ball game; the dreamer's team wins A member of the dream- 
er's settlement will die 

A train rushing to a cabin One of the inmates will die 

within 6-12 months. 

A train journey with a companion The companion will die 

within 6-12 months. 

A cabin of the settlement burns completely One of the inmates will die 


A member of the family is leaving The one who leaves will 

die after 2-3 years. 

2. — Dreams th.-vt Cause Complaints that Are Not Specifically Indicated 
Dreams about— Cause 

Fish Illness. 

Snakes Do. 

"Impure water" (i. e., rapids bringing snow from the Do. 

mountains; the river flooding the country, etc.). 
"Inverted dreams" (when a man dreams about wom- Do. 

en's utensils (mortar, pestle, sieve, etc.), or a woman 

about men's utensils (bow, ax, etc.). 
Many people gathering ,,, — Do. 

oIbrIcIts] the swimmer manxjscript 37 

Breams about— Cause 

Many visitors at a house (not necessarily the dream- Illness, 
er's house). 

"Invisible people" Do, 

To lose small personal belonging (coat, ax, kerchief, Do. 


Drowning Do. 

Eagle Do. 

"tcGo-'ya" (see p. 28) Do. 

To walk with a deceased person Do. 

A deceased person is calling us or beckoning Do. 

A cabin of the settlement is on fire (but does not burn One of the inmates will fall 
completely). ill; if we dream that the 

fire is extinguished by 
somebody, this person is 
the one who will be able 
to cure the case. 

"Little Men" (Thunder Boys) ay£"'ltGo-'Gi 

Thunder Do. 

A dog approaching from distance Witchcraft. 

A mad bull rushing wildly all over the settlement An epidemic. 

A windstorm rushing wildly all over the settlement.. Do. 

3. — Dreams Without Relation to Medicine 

Dreams Cause 

About white people It is going to snow. 

About Indians It is going to rain. 

About negroes We will kill game. 

Omens ^* 

If the family dog howls all the time and acts "as if he were home- 
sick" somebody of the family is going to fall ill. The dog should 
be killed "so as to make an exchange." Ayo., W.'s mother, told him 
many years ago that the dog should be addressed and commanded 
to die itself, instead of the member of the household whose death 
the dog's howling announced. (See p. 62.) 

A hen that crows like a rooster should be killed forthwith; else 
disease will befall the household. If the hen is killed the misfortune 
is averted. (See p. 78.) 

When the "thunder" strikes a tree near the cabin, there is some 
trouble in store for the inmates. 

If a fox (tsy'la) howls near a cabin one of the household is going to 
be ill; the same result follows the hooting of the night owl. The cry 
of the whippoorwill is believed to forebode not only disease but even 

If we see a shooting star we are going to be ill. 

" All the following "omens" are in a stage where it is not possible to class them 
definitely as disease causes or as signs of future illness. 


Neglected Taboos; Disuegakded Injunctions 

As if the formidable force of disease causes which we have now 
passed in review were not sufficient to soon rob the earth in general 
and the Cherokee country particularly of eveiy li\'ing mortal, there 
is yet a complex of causes arrayed against the unsuspecting creature 
who has successfully run the gantlet of spirits, ghosts, witches, and 
dreams: the neglected taboos and the disregarded injunctions. 

In a way these work in an even more insidious and surreptitious 
way than any of those that have until now come to our attention. For 
in a good many instances we may avoid diseases if only we adhere 
strictly to certain rules of conduct: carefully ask the bear's pardon 
after having killed it, making a point of burning the entrails of a slain 
deer, not spit into the fire, not urinate into the river, not oflend 
"man-killers," etc. We can avoid violating these taboos; but others 
there are which we may violate how^ever carefully we try to avoid 
doing so, and however honest our intentions are. It makes no 
difference whether we violate them purposely or inadvertently, the 
results are the same. 

Some of these taboos that now seem unintelligible, not only to 
us but to the Cherokee themselves, are undoubtedlj^ survivals of an 
earlier age, where certain phenomena were the object of a cult which 
has in later days been neglected and forgotten, such as is illustrated 
in "One must not point at the rainbow, or one's finger wiU swell at 
the lower joint." (IVIooney, Myths, p. 257.) 

"Sourwood ... is never burned, from an idea that the lye made 
from its ashes will bring sickness to those who use it in preparing 
food." a. c, p. 422.) 

Others of these taboos are very probably (unconscious?) attempts 
at laying down rules for moral and even hygienic conduct. For 
example, one should never do one's needs in the yard or in a trail, 
i. e., in public; this would result in diseases of the urinary system. It 
may be mentioned in this place how extremely carefully and con- 
siderately the Cherokee observe this taboo. Likewise, the entrails 
and offal of all small game, tlie water in which it is washed and with 
which some of its blood may be mixed, and the blood itself, should 
never be disposed of by throwing or pouring it away in the yard or in a 
trail, etc., but should be carefully taken to a secluded place and 
disposed of. 

The diseases that may result from the neglect of these taboos 
are varied and multifarious; they may in fact be almost anything. 
If toothache "results" it will be blamed on the "animal's insects"; 
if rheumatism, the explanation may be found in the fact that the 
particular piece of game was a rabbit; if Dyle"'dzi because it was a 
turkey, etc. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 39 


To close this review of disease causers, there is a last category to be 
oriefly mentioned, viz, the white people, and especially the white 
physicians. These cause one kind of disease only, but they are the 
very diseases the Cherokee stand in most frantic fear of — epidemics. 

A. F. Chamberlain, in his article on Disease and Aledicine — Ameri- 
can, in Hastings's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, III, page 732, 
draws attention to the fact that many North American Indian tribes 
ascribe epidemics to the evil influence or activities of the white people, 
and has illustrated his statement by an interesting citation from 
Winslow's Good News from New England (1624); cf. also Dr. H. U. 
WilHams, The Epidemic of the Indians of New England, 1616-1620, 
with Remarks on Native American Infections, in Johns Hopldns 
Hospital Bulletin (Baltmiore), XX (1909), pages 340-349. 

The Cherokee medicine men are at odds when it comes to state 
wliich motives drive white physicians when they let loose epidemics to 
ravage the Cherokee settlements. According to some informants, 
they do it simply because they hate the Indians; according to others, 
in order to enrich themselves at the expense of their victims. 

It is not known exactly in what ways and by what methods the 
white physician attains his ends, but at least one case is known, the 
Cherokee claim, where it is clearly shown what means were used. 

"Toward the close of the Civil War two Cherokee (one of them was 
called Isaac) were captured by Union troops and kept prisoners of 
war at KnoxviUe, Term. When, after the war, they were released 
they were called into a room and shown a red fish (swimming in a 
bowl). After they had looked at it the fish was put away again. They 
came back to where they lived, and three or four days after they got 
home they became feverish, and their whole body became covered 
vrith. sores; they had smallpox." (W., Og., T.) 

In this case it is emphatically stated by present informants that 
it was the mere looking at the fish that caused the disease and that it 
was purposely shown them by the white people to bring affliction 
and death on the two Cherokee and their people. 

There is a generic name for contagious disease: a'"y€'lf'Do"!a' 
i. e. "he (the disease causer?) drives it (the disease) about." 

As for the means used to cure or prevent it, see "Prophylaxis," 
p. 73 et seq. 

Diagnosis and Prognosis 

We now have a pretty sound and tolerably complete idea of the 
Cherokee views on disease and are equipped with the indispensable 
elements to understand their practices mth regard to the treatment 
of diseases. 


We maj^ at first be shocked by the "unreasonable," the "preposter- 
ous," etc.,in these practices. If,however,on second thought, we endeav- 
or to make an honest effort to understand them, we will soon see how 
remarkably logical they are, if only we bear the premises in mind. For 
whatever there has been said about "the primitive mind," there is at 
least this tribute to be paid to it, that it invariably gives proof of a 
most rigorous congruency and a perfect harmony in its reasoning. 

The first thing the medicine man endeavors to find out, when he 
calls on a patient, is the seat of the pain. Since Cherokee medical art 
does not aim so much at "curing a disease" or "allaying pain" as at 
removing the cause of the ailment, of the agent causing the pain, the 
medicine man forthwith sets out upon his quest after the cause of the 
ailment. In this he is actively seconded by the patient, whose aid may 
prove the more efficacious the more he is versed in the traditional lore. 

If we are not dealing with one of the very few cases where a natural 
cause is accepted (see p. 17) the medicine man inquires whether the 
patient has by any chance infringed upon a taboo (see p. 38) or whether 
the patient has had any dreams or omens (see p. 36). The patient 
is, of course, but rarely sufficiently versed in this body of lore to be 
able to answer in a satisfactory maimer, and the medicine man usually 
has to go over with the patient the very extensive collection of 
dreams and omens that may affect the particular situation. The 
patient, being only too anxious to find rehef, woidd not think of with- 
holding any information of a nature to help the final discovery of 
"the important thing." 

The dreams investigated may go back several months, or even as 
much as two or three years; there is no definite rule as to this, and it 
rests with the personal opinion of every individual medicine man how 
deeply into the past he chooses to probe to find the dream that would 
plausibly explain the "case." Similarly, the very emphasis on dreams 
as diagnostic means varies more or less with individual conceptions. 
It appears, for example, from Mr. Mooney's notes that Ay. held 
dreams of secondary importance, and that he gave primary attention 
to such symptoms as headache, Hvidness in the face, blue-black rings 
round the eyes, etc. This point of view does not seem to predominate 
\vith the average Cherokee medicine man, as, indeed, it hardly could, 
if we bear in mind this very important axiom of Cherokee medical 
practice, that whatever the ailment in question may seem to be, we 
must be sure to hit upon the real disease causer, so as to be able to 
"work" against him, and to force him "to let go his hold" on the 
patient. The identity of the disease causer is foimd out much more 
readily and far more accurately by the patient's dreams and experi- 
ences than by such symptoms as described above, which the Cherokee 
medicine men, as well as Mr. Mooney and I, have noticed are identi- 
cally the same for a score and more of radically different diseases. 

oiSIts] the swimmer manuscript 41 

As soon as the medicine man, by this pseudo "psychoanalytical" 
method has found out which dream has caused the ailment he is able 
to prescribe the treatment and to go on his quest for herbs and roots. 

There are cases, however, where by this method no result is ob- 
tained, and the medicine man's exertions remain imre warded. One 
individual dreams less frequently than another and the few dreams he 
can recall may not contain sufficient elements to form a conclusion. 
In these cases there is still the ever-useful and never-failing method of 
"examining with the beads" to resort to; the procedure is virtually the 
same as described (p. 132), only changing in this respect, that the 
medicine man names a disease or a disease causer and asks of the bead 
whether his statement is right. The brisk movements of the right- 
hand bead gives an affirmative answer; its sluggish movements, or its 
remaining motionless, a negative answer. 

A couple of unusual facts on the score of diagnosis have come to my 
attention. When in the smnmer of 1926 W. was suffering from a 
severe attack of toothache, that could not be cured by any of the 
"usual" means, he was soon convinced that it could not be "just a 
usual toothache" he was suffering from., but that it must have been 
sent to him by a witch. One evening as he was sitting by the fire and 
gazing into the fantastically leaping flames, he suddenly saw, grinning 
at him from the glowing embers, the face of an old woman ; the face of 
a woman he knew. She was hving in another settlement, and had the 
reputation of being a witch. So W. forthwith concluded that she 
was the one who had "worked" against him and who had sent him 
the toothache. According to the rules of the art, at which he was a 
full-fledged adept, he did not lose time in launching his counterattack 
as a result of which the witch died before the sun had set seven times. 

As far as I could find out, W. is the only individual who ever had 
experiences in this domain that emerged from the banal, the everyday, 
and the common conceptions. I am quite confident that he was quite 
sincere and honest about them, and I am anxious to point out that, 
even if they are unknown to other members of the tribes, or of the 
profession for that matter, still they absolutely conform in form and in 
content to the pattern and the structure of the more common Cherokee 

The Cherokee do not pay much attention to prognosis. A patient 
should officially show signs of improvement after four or seven days 
of treatment. If the ailment refuses to be impressed by the Cherokee 
beHef in sacred numbers, and the seventh day brings no relief, an 
expectant attitude may be taken by the patient, his medicine man 
and his friends for two or three days, during which there are animated 
discussions as to what might have been wrong with the treatment or 
with the diagnosis. Maybe the diagnosis was not absolutely wrong, 
but was not sufficiently right; the patient may have been suffering 


from more than one disease; he may have infracted more than one 
taboo; he may have offended more than one animal spirit. At the 
time of the diagnosis the medicine man was satisfied when he had 
found one cause, whereas there were two. Hence repetition of the 
diagnosis and beginning of another treatment. There may be yet 
other explanations — a complication may have set in, in that the 
ailment was due to a mere breach of taboo at its outset, but has since 
been aggravated by the machinations of an enemy or a witch. Or, 
again, maybe the patient has not paid heed to the taboos while under 
treatment. Maybe a change of medicine man would do no harm? 

It is possible that the changes that are expected in the patient's 
condition after a set number of days (ofTicially four or seven, accord- 
ing to the Cherokee sacred number) coincide with the crisis of certain 
ailments. Some such facts the Cherokee have not been slow to 
observe, although their explanation of them is, of course, always in 
keeping with the general trend of their beliefs. I feel sure, for in- 
stance, that it is the phenomenon of the rising temperature of certain 
patients toward nightfall that has contributed considerably toward 
the clever explanation of the "witches wallving round at night," 
tormenting the sick and the feeble. Hence the special care with which 
a patient is surrounded after dusk by his friends and relatives. 

The favorite phrase used when prognosticating is that the patient 
"win soon be able to walk about"; but "soon" and "walk about" 
as used by the Cherokee medicine man are both very vague and 
elastic expressions. Occasionally the death of a patient may be pre- 
dicted, but this in no way influences the treatment. Even in the face 
of a losing battle the medicine man bravely and pluckily sticks to 
the job. 

After aU, the most common and the most "efficacious" means of 
prognosis is the one by the beads, the beads being the instruments 
"par excellence" for discovering the truth, in prognosis as in diag- 
nosis, as they are, indeed, in all ceremonies of a divinatory nature. 
(See p. 132.) 

List of Spirits 

The Cherokee pantheon of disease-causing spirits is quite consider- 
able and the number of spirits that are called upon to eat, pull out, 
carry away, destroy, or in any other way eliminate disease is even 

Since in the aboriginal belief as well as in the formulas these spirits 
always appear and behave according to most rigidly circumscribed 
patterns, a complete survey can best be given in an index, in which 
the particular traits of each of these beings are listed analytically. 

As for the method of finding out which particular spirit or what 
agent has caused the disease, see Diagnosis, p. 139. 

S-brecIts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 43 

As will be noticed in the formulas, the same spirit that causes a 
given disease is never appealed to to eliminate it; Cherokee medicine 
men constantly put into practice a "policy of equilibrium" as did the 
European diplomats of pre-war days, and according to which every 
spirit has one or more antagonists that are appealed to in order to 
undo the work and to combat the nefarious activities of their oppo- 
nents. The application of this theory is best studied in the formulas. 
A glance at the following table will also be found instructive in this 
regard. If a disease is held to be caused by worms, various kinds of 
birds that are known as worm eaters are called upon to wage the fight. 
If the disease is thought to be of an unusually tenacious and obstinate 
nature, such animals as beavers, rats, weasels, the dogged stubborn- 
ness of which is proverbial, are commanded to gnaw and tug at it 
until no trace of it is left. Should the most striking feature of the 
*' important thing" be its cunning, its evasiveness, such a sly and 
wary individual as the otter is commandeered to effect the relief. 

It has been deemed expedient to use some abbreviations in the fol- 
lowing table, the meanings of wliich are given below. The analysis 
of the traits of each spirit has been effected under eight headings. 

Under the hrst the name is given. These names have been put 
into alphabetical sequence, in order to make the list the more service- 
able. The Cherokee names of the spirits will be found without dif- 
ficulty by looking up the formula in which they occur. This formula 
is referred to in the last column, under the caption "Reference." 

The second column mentions the color of the spirit. Abbreviations 
used : 
W White. I P Purple. 

R Red. 

Y Yellow. 

E In the east. 

N In the north. 

S In the south. 

Br Brown. 

Bl Blue. 

B Black. 

The third column lists the location, the place of residence, of the 
spirits. Abbreviations used: 

H On high. 

C In the center. 

Ab Above. 

W In the west. 

The fourth column lists the diseases caused; the fifth, the ailments 
cured by the spirit. It is obvious that a spirit who is hsted under 
the fourth caption will be found wanting under the fifth, and vice 

The sixth column lists eventual helpers or collaborators of the spirit 
and the seventh his eventual antagonists. 

Only rarely is a spirit appealed to who is not sufficiently described 
in the formulas to make his identification possible; such is the case in 
the formulas Nos. 26 and 39. 



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Color Symbolism — Sacred Numbers 

There is but little to be added to what Mooney (SFC, p. 342) 
says about the Cherokee color symbolism, unless it be this, that the 
distinction is not always made quite so definitely as would appear 
from Mooney's tabulation. It is, of course, possible that 40 to 50 
years ago the people's ideas were still less vague and fleeting on this 
score than they are now, but the formulas' evidence does not indi- 
cate that even quite a few generations back the color symbolism was 
much more definite. This will readily appear upon consulting the 
analytical table. Disease spirits (pp. 44-50). 

A couple of facts are established beyond doubt — red and white 
can not possibly be associated with the west, nor with anything un- 
successful; black can only be associated with the west, and blue with 
the west or the north; neither of these latter colors can under any cir- 
cumstances be symbolic of success. Apart from this it is not possible 
to be dogmatic: Red may be used in connection with the south as 
well as with the east and the zenith, whereas white is no more the 
inalienable color of the south than red is the one of the east. 

Whether this phenomenon has any correlation with the defective 
power of discrimination between colors of the Cherokee I hesitate to 
say. However that may be, it is a fact that even the Cherokee who 
have known the joys of a Government school education do not score 
much better, according to our standards, when it comes to dis- 
criminating between colors than did the Seminoles of AlacCauley.^^ 

To gain some more definite data on this I asked the informant 
who was the least hopeless in tliis respect (W.) to pick out from a 
color chart, showing 95 colors in all possible shades and nuances, 
those "which the Cherokee know and have a name for." The follow- 
ing is the result of this experiment: 

Usual name of color 

Cherokee name 



Pea green 


Myrtle green 

Oxide red 




Lead color... 
Holland blue 
Tuscan red. . 
Light gray.. 

Dark blue 


itse'i iyu"sti 



WO-'oiGe- °' 

u''dzat'i^ Dalo''ni 

V^lo'SO^'st Gt'^GaGe' "' 

Ga'yo"'tH Dalo'ntGe""' 


Sa'k'o"'niGe' °' 

Gi"' GaGf °' 

Ga"yo"'t}i i;nf'Gii° f3'u"sti sa 

De'a'lvGe- "''. 


Like green. 

(Like) clotted blood. 


Like hematite. 

Extremely yellow. 

Beyond red. 

Feebly yellowish. 

(Dusty gray.) 


Bloody (i. e., "red"). 

Feebly white like bluish. 


=» Cf. Fifth Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethn., p. 525. 


As with the majority of the North American Indians, color sym- 
bohsm is intimately associated with, the rite of circumambulation, of 
which further mention is made (p. 03). 

Sacred numbers. — Four is the fundamental sacred number in 
Cherokee ritual and seems always to have been. Although seven is 
also frequently met with, it would seem that this number has no 
claim to as venerable an age as has four. 

Seven may have grown in importance by such outside and acci- 
dental influences as the 7-day week and by the reduction to seven 
of the number of Cherokee clans. 

There are traces of the significance of another number, viz, 12 
(and also of its multiple 24) as evidenced by — 

The 12 runs in the ball game. 

The 24 days' taboo of a woman after her delivery (this 24 days can 
be reduced to 12 by using an appropriate medicine). 

The 24 different plants used against amsGfna diseases. 

The formulas and the notes appended to them simply teem with 
illustrations of the importance of the sacred numbers, especially of 4 
and 7. I therefore considered it superfluous to multiply the examples 
here. Attention has been called on page 122 to the interesting proc- 
ess of rationalization by which a sanction of the use of the number 
4 is alleged to be found in a (nonexisting) North Carolina State law. 

Materia AIedica 

In this section I endeavor to give a summary description of Chero- 
kee materia medica. I would have very much preferred to incor- 
porate in this paper a detailed Cherokee "pharmacopoeia," but the 
Cherokee botanical materia medica is so extensive as to command 
separate treatment. It is considered best to withhold tliis material, 
and to publish it, probably in the form of a paper on Cherokee 
ethnobotany, in the near future. 

A's a general and preliminary consideration it may be stated that 
although the Cherokee believe to a limited extent in the therapeutic 
value of certain matters of animal and vegetal origin, their materia 
medica consist primaril}' of botanical elements. It is happily ignorant 
of any human ingredients, the use of which is so conspicuous in the 
primitive medicine of numerous tribes, nay, in the folk medicine of so 
many civilized countries; even the belief in the curative power of 
saliva (cf. our "fasting spittle") is found wanting; stercoraria are 
never used, and as a whole, their materia medica is very much 
cleaner than, for instance, that of the rural communities of Europe. 

The generic nam.e for any particle possessing medicinal properties 
is n9"Vo"t'i', the meaning of which is literally "to treat with," but the 
emotional value of which had better be rendered "to cure with." 

Olbrecuts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 53 

Altlioiigh Cherokee possesses words to express such concepts as 
"herbs (in general) " or that refer to certain definite famihes of plants 
("famihes" to betaken here from the Cherokee point of view, as 
"those that grow in the mountains," "those that are ever green," 
"those that grow near the river," etc.), these are but rarel}^ heard, and 
as a rule the specific names of the plant are used. 

Although some of the simples used are undeniably of officinal value, 
this would seem in the majority of cases to be a mere matter of acci- 
dent, rather than evidence of conscious experiment or even of fortunate 
experience. The rule underlying the choice of a certain plant as an 
antidote against a given ailment is of a mythological and an occult 
rather than of a natural nature. 

The chemical properties of the herbs, roots, barks, etc., used may in 
some cases happen to be appropriate to the result to be obtained, but 
that this is merely a matter of coincidence and chance is proved by 
many practices, a few of which are: 

The outer appearance of the plants is of tremendous value in deter- 
mining their efficacy against certain given diseases, as, "a thimble- 
berry shrub growing high up (in the cavity) of a hollow (tree) " is used 
against "painful remembrance of the dead" (see p. 233), because the 
medicine man said, "when we tear away the roots, deeply buried and 
stubbornly clinging to the tree, we "v^-ill, when we drink a decoction 
of the roots, also be able to pull the remembrance out of our mind that 
makes us sick." 

Plants that have a pungent smell are great favorites in many ail- 
ments. The Cherokee have no explanation to offer. The same fact, 
observed times without number elsewhere, has usually been explained, 
"the pvmgent smell puts the disease demon to rout." 

Trees and plants, the sap and the juice of which are of a mucilaginous 
nature, as that of Da"'"wadzf'la (Ulmvsfulra Michx., "slippery elm") 
are used in cases where something is to be ejected out of the body, as 
in childbirth — "the inside is to be made slippery." 

Plants that show certain peculiar characteristics, identical to those 
shown by the disease, are used as antidote: the "mUky discharge" 
common to certain maladies of the urinary system is thought to be 
efficacioush^ combated by adininistering plants that contain a mUky 
juice; as if, by showing to the ailment that there is plenty of the mUky, 
juicy matter at hand, there is hope of convincing it of the futility of 

Or the contrary may be the case: Plants and fruits that contain 
great quantities of juice must by no means be used by the patient when 
he is suffering from a complaint, one of the symptoms of which is the 
presence of a lot of "juicy matter," as in blisters, boils, etc. 

Mooney in his notes has left us a typical illustration of this mode of 
reasoning; against rheumatism ' 'the plants used in the preparation are 


all ferns , . . Tho doctor explained that the fronds of the young fern 
arc coiled up, but unroll and straighten out as the plant grows; ergo, 
a decoction of ferns will give to the rheumatic patient the power to 
straighten out the contracted muscles of his limb." 

Not onl}' is there great importance attached to this sj-mbolism of 
the outward appearance, also due regard is to be paid to the sacred 
numbers; in scores of cases the medicine is only effective if four or 
seven of the plants (usually of the same "family"') are used, and thus 
it often happens that the actual ofhcinal value of one plant is abso- 
lutely neutralized, to sa}^ the least, by throe or five others. 

Another consideration that is not of a nature to stimulate our faith 
in the efficacy of Cherokee materia medica is the tremendous impor- 
tance laid on the use of certain plants that are not held to have any 
inherent curative properties but that arc considered to possess remark- 
able power in virtue of a mysterious way of behavior — an uncommon 
way of growing, a quaint inclination of their branches, grotesque 
parasitical excrescences, or that show any other evidence of so-called 
freaks of nature, as the roots of an "inverted raspberiy branch," 
i. e., the branch of a raspberry shrub that has come back to the soil 
and taken roots again (pi. 6, a) is often used in cases where the Cher- 
okee consider the roots of the "parent plant" as being destitute of 
any curative properties. Or it will be specified that the roots used 
must be those of a plant that has onh^^ one stalk, even if the plant 
named has usually several stalks. Or again, it will be prescribed that 
the bark has to be stripped from a "crippled" tree, i. e., a tree that 
has been broken by some accident while it was still young, but that 
has nevertheless continued its growth in its "crippled" condition. 

The curious, the unusual, that which is rare and difficult to find, 
have always and everywhere played a considerable role in the materia 
medica of all times and of all peoples, and we here find ourselves con- 
fronted with these same considerations. 

The same trend of thought is no doubt also responsible for the 
remarkable properties ascribed to lightning-struck wood, especially 
of a tree that has continued to live after the accident, although this 
belief may have to be explained partly by an additional element, the 
respect for thunder and its "emissary," lightning. (Cf. Mooney, 
Myths, p. 422.) Also the mj^sterious power ascribed to the root that 
looks like an insect, "that has (a stalk) growing from its mouth" (see 
p. 30) is no doubt to be explained by this belief in the uncanny 
properties of the unusual. 

Finally, such prescriptions as are made with regard to the time of 
collecting a plant (during a storm), or the mode of selecting a par- 
ticular part of it (the bark on the "sunny side" of trees (pi. 6, h) the 
roots running out to the east, etc.), prove again to what an extent the 
materia medica of the tribe is influenced by mythological conceptions. 

q: X 

UJ u 

- X 

z CQ 



h IB 




a-h. Surgical instruments, i. The "K'unuGa" scariOcutiou instrument 


Collection. — As a rule simples are never collected and kept ready for 
emergency in a dried or prepared state. Only those needed in case of 
childbirth are gathered during the summer, so as to be available in 
wintertime (see p . 9 1 ) . It is just as rare to find medicine men endowed 
with enough foresight to lay out a garden of medicinal plants as did the 
European monks in the Middle Ages. (See p. 90.) 

The rules for collecting the plants are as follows: As soon as the 
medicine man has made his diagnosis he tells the patient and the 
latter's household that he will have to go and collect simples. He 
usually does not tell him what kinds he will need, but if he is a greedy 
and a " businesslike " individual, he may tell them how great a trouble 
it will mean to him, how far he will have to walk through the pouring 
rain or the scorching sun; to how many places he may have to go in 
vain; how often he will probably have to retrace his steps and start 
the search all over again, etc.; all this to induce the people to give him 
a considerable fee. (See p. 95.) He invariably tells them what kind 
of cloth (what color, and dimensions) he will need to gather the plants 
in. This is given to him; if the people do not have the cloth available 
they have to borrow it from neighbors or buy it from the trader. 
Then the medicine man starts on his quest for the simples. 

He usually knows where to find the specimens he needs — in the 
woods, along the mountain side, near the river, on marshy ground, etc. 
He also knows that some plants have a tendency to grow near certain 
trees, as oaks, in apple orchards, on moist, shady rocks, etc. 

To gather certain plants, such as ginseng, he must first recite a 
prayer asking vne-'tlano'Ii (see p. 20) for permission to pluck them. 
Or he is not allowed to pluck them without dropping a bead in the 
earth where they stood. 

Sometimes (in times gone by this was probably a strict and general 
rule) when his bundle is complete he takes it to the river and puts it in 
the water; if it floats it is a sign that all the prescriptions have been duly 
followed and that the eventual taboos have not been violated ; it is a 
sign, moreover, that the bundle of medicine is all right, and that its 
use will be followed by the results that are expected of it. 

He then wraps up the simples in the cloth (pi. 6, c) and returns to 
the cabin of the patient, where he hands the bundle to one of the 
household. The roots are unwrapped and the cloth is handed back to 
the medicine man as his fee. The medicine is then steeped, boiled, or 
prepared as the medicine man directs and in due course of time is 
administered to the patient, either by a relative or by the medicine 
man himself, again according to the prescription of the formula. 

Preparation. — There are three major modes of preparing the medi- 
cine; it is either: (a) pounded and steeped in cold or warm water, 
(6) boiled, or (c) boiled down. 


Pounding the roots and barks is still occasionally done with a stone, 
but a hammer is now more generally used. Leaves that are to be 
steeped are, prior to being put into the infusion vessel, crushed or 
crumpled in the hand. The different ingredients that are to be boiled 
or steeped are usually tied together in a bundle, by means of a strip of 
hickory bark. 

" Boiling down" is a mode of preparing the medicine which is pre- 
scribed with man}'^ formulas. It consists in boiling the m.edicine and 
drinking part of it the first day, boiling the same decoction over again 
and drinking another part of it the second day, and so on, usually, for 
four consecutive days. The fourth day the decoction is often a thick 
treaclish sirup. Sometmies, however, water from the river is added 
every day to the decoction. 

Occasionally poultices are made of large leaves of mullein and held 
by the hand against the affected part for a few minutes. 

Black pine wax (a*tsa') is used, and also the use of bear grease 
(yo*'nD° Go.i') and eel oil (t9'°te"'Ga Go.i') is occasionally met with. 

In some cases, w^hen the decoction is so bitter as to be very disagree- 
able to swallow, it is sweetened by adding honey or the pods of honey 
locust to it. This procedure is especially frequent when the decoction 
is to be administered to children. The custom of adding whisky to 
certain decoctions has been taken over from the white mountaineers. 

Mode oj administering. — This is as a rule fairly simple. Usually a 
member of the patient's household gives him the medicine to drink; 
in a few cases it is specified that an aboriginal gourd dipper be used for 
this purpose. These dippers are not used so extensively as household 
utensils now as they used to be, metal spoons and ladles having grad- 
ually replaced them, but it is an often observed fact that in primitive 
and folk medicine, as in ritual, objects are retained that have passed 
out of existence as everyday utensils hundreds of years ago. (See 
p. 58.) 

In some cases, however (all this is invariably and minutely laid 
down in the prescriptions appended to the formulas, p. 158), the medi- 
cine has to be administered by the medicine man himself. In doing 
this he observes certain ceremonies, as standing with his back toward 
the east, so that the patient opposite him faces the "sun land," lifting 
the dipper containing the medicine high up, and bringing it down in a 
spiral or swooping movement, imitating by so doing certain birds of 
prey that may have been mentioned in the formulas he has recited 
prior to giving the patient his medicine to drink. 

Not the slightest attention is paid to dosing the patient nor, it is 
superfluous to state, to his idiosyncrasy. If any question is asked, as 
to the amount of the decoction or of the infusion to be taken, the 
answer is invariably "Just asmuchashe canhold." Thislfoundupon 
observation is very elastic and fluctuating from one individual to 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 57 

another; it may mean anything; from a minimum of 2 to a maximum 
of 6 to 7 litci-s a da}^ This appalling amount of liquid by itself is 
often sufRcient to account for the emetic results the Cherokee obtain 
by the use of simples that are devoid of emetic properties. 

A few words remain to be said about the animal and mineral 
materia medica in use in Cherokee therapeutics. 

Against rheumatism and stiiTness in the joints eel oil (tQ"°t€"'Ga 
Go.i') is used. The oil is fried out of the animal in a frying pan. 
The eel owes the honor of thus being admitted into the Cherokee 
pharmacopoeia to its considerable suppleness and lithencss. 

Bear grease (yo-'no" Go.i'), known to most of the North American 
Indian tribes and extensively used in the Southeast, is likewise known 
to the Cherokee. The rapidly progressing extinction of the bear in 
the Great Smokies will, however, soon account for the untmiely end 
of this popular article. 

A prescription against a disease that can only be identified as 
tuberculosis specifies among other ingredients the brains of an otter, 
mixed with "rock treacle," i. e., the moisture oozing out of the natural 
fissures of a mossy rock. 

Stones, especially worked and fashioned arrowheads, may be added 
to the water in which roots and stems are put to boil, but they owe 
their therapeutic value chiefly to the belief that "they will cut the 
disease to pieces" in the patient's body. The stones and flints are, 
of course, removed before the decoction is drunk. 

Water enters into practically every remedy, in so far as it is used 
to boil the other ingredients in. It usually has to be dipped oat of 
the river, to where, in some cases, it has to be taken back after use. 
(See p. 68.) There are no specific instructions as to whether the 
water has to be dipped 'S\'ith the stream" or "against the stream" 
as is so frequent in primitive medicine. One instance has come to 
my knowledge vv'here the water has to be taken from a cataract. 

The use of snow water and of ice is coinmon in treating cases of 

"Stumpwater " is but rarely referred to, and its use, together vnth 
the belief in its marvelous properties, may have been borrowed 
from the whites. 

Disposing of used ingredients. — As a rule proper care is taken to 
dispose of the materia medica after its use ; it is never carelessly thrown 
away, but is usually kept on outside shelves, with at least two of 
which every cabin is provided. It is quite likely that formerly there 
was a proper ceremony to dispose of these decocted barks and herbs, 
bat although this has been lost, enough of the custom is remembered 
to prevent the used ingredients from being thrown away as refuse. 
A few formulas have directions appended to them, which direct 
that the medicine, after its use, has to be "stored in a dry place," 
or has to be placed in a rock fissure with an appropriate formula. 


Paraphernalia Used in the Treatment 

The list of paraphernalia used by the Cherokee medicine man is 
not extensive; it may be conveniently classed under three headings: 

(1) Objects used in divinatory ceremonies. These \nll be amply 
described when the formulas relating to divination are published. 

(2) The instruments used in surgical or pseudosiirgical operations; 
a description of these will be found under the caption of surgery 
(p. 68)._ 

(3) Finally there are the objects used in treating disease. These 
include blowing tube, gourd dipper, terrapin shell, persimmon 
stamper, beads, rattle. 

The blowing tube (pi. 7, h) is a portion of the stem of a'maDi"to.'ti' 
i;"'t'ano°', Eupatorium purpureiim L., joe-pye-weed, trumpet weed. 
Usually it is about 20-25 centimeters long, with an outside diameter 
of about 15 milUmeters and an inside diameter of 10-12 milHmeters. 

It is used to blow or spray the medicine, which the medicine man 
has pre\aously sipped from a dipper, over the patient's temples, the 
crown of his head, his breast, or whatever part of his body is "under 

Only in one case did I find a much longer blowing tube of the same 
provenance used. It measures 50-60 centimeters and is the means 
by which a decoction has to be sprayed on the body of a parturient 
woman; the medicine man, while doing this, for propriety's sake 
stands 3 or 4 yards behind the semireclined woman (see p. 125) and 
blows the medicine in a jet over her head. This procedure makes it 
imperative that the blowing reed be of the length described so as to 
be the better able to direct the jet of medicine. 

There is a faint indication that until about 40 years ago occasionally 
a grass stalk was used to blow a decoction of plants into the urethra, 
but nothing more definite could be learned about the procedure, 
which is now completely discontinued and almost forgotten, even 
by the oldest of the medicine men. 

Although gourd dippers are still used to some extent in the Cherokee 
household they tend to disappear and to be replaced by more modern 
utensils introduced by the whites, metal spoons, ladles, etc. 

For use in medicine, however, it is always implicitly understood 
and often explicitly stated that the dipper used to administer the 
medicine must be the good old aboriginal gourd dipper Ga'^lune''- 
Gwo°; so much so that this object is gradually becoming, from a com- 
mon kitchen utensil which it still was one or two generations ago, a 
true component of the medicine man's paraphernalia. 

This tendency of less civilized communities to cling not only to 
their archaic practices but also to retain certain material objects 
associated with them, is very frequent and common, and parallels of 
it could be cited by the dozen. To give a couple of instances only: 


In tho folk medicine of many rural communities of western Europe 
it is often specified that the medicine be prepared, steeped, or boiled 
in an earthen vessel; this in spite of the fact that the use of earthen 
vessels for everyday purposes was dropped centuries ago.^® 

Some of the Morocco Mohammedans who have known and used 
for centuries metal daggers and knives that are the pride of museum 
collections still use a stone knife for such a delicate, but ritual and 
archaic operation as circumcision," 

A consideration of the same order as the one commented upon 
under gourd dippers is no doubt partly responsible for the use of a 
terrapin shell (tu'ksi u'ya'ska) to keep the medicine in. (Cf. Mooney, 
SFC, p. 345.) 

The persimmon-wood stamper is an object that has fallen into 
complete desuetude. It was used in certain manipulations closely 
related to, if not identical with, massage. Mooney, as appears from 
his notes, found it mentioned during his first visit, but even then the 
object was no longer in actual use; after repeated vain efforts he was 
able to locate a man who was still able to nake a specimen, which 
now forms part of the collections of the Di\dsion of Medicine, United 
States National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

If I had not found the reference to this object in Mooney's notes I 
would not have suspected that it was ever in use, as only a couple 
of the oldest medicine men could painstaldngly recall it — its name is 
completely lost— but no one could be found who was able to carve a 
specimen. Neither of the two medicine men who vaguely remem- 
bered its having been in use could describe the procedure ; they could not 
tell me whether it was used to rub, to stamp, or to press the sore spot. 

The beads (aD€''l5°) belong, properly speaking, not so much to the 
medicine man's paraphernalia as to those of the di^dnator. Since, 
however, these two arts are very often pursued by one and the same 
individual, and especially since the divination with the beads is so 
often inextricably fused with a curing procedure, they can not very 
well be left outside of this enumeration. 

Finally the rattle calls for a few comments in this connection. 
Nowadays there is no medicine man, as far as I know, who still uses 
the rattle (i. e., the gourd rattle, Ga,ndze"ti) when singing medicine 
songs; its use is entirely restricted to the accompanying of dance songs. 
The terrapin -shell rattles were apparently never used in medicine. 

There are some indications, however, that would lead us to believe 
that the gourd rattle must once have been extensively used in medicine 
and must once have been practically the emblem of the medicine 
man's profession. 

-' "Troost der Armen" Gent (n. d.), p. 9. 

2^ Rohlfs, "Mein erster Aufenthalt in Marokko," ap. von Hovorka and Kron- 
feld, vol. II, p. 492. 


Curing Methods 

As we have seen in our paragraph on materia medica, the Cherokee 
do not only attach officinal value to the intrinsic properties of the 
simples used, but they expect as much, if not more, curing power from 
observing and complying with sundry regulations when selecting, 
picking, preparing, and administering them. 

We are again faced with conceptions of the same order, when it 
comes to the actual use of the plants or of the other materia medica — 
not only the object used is of importance, but the method of using it 
is of great consequence. A short description of these modes and 
methods \d\\ form the object of the following paragraphs. 

"VMiatever be the method used, the act of treating a patient is 
usually referred to as Dt'calo"'* wtsta'N^ti' "to work for him " (Dactlo'"'- 
wtsta'ne'a' "I work for him ") . This expression is also frequently used 
when referring to "examining with the beads" or to the nefarious 
machinations of an enemy. It is also used by the people in everyday 
language to render "to work for (someone)," i. e., to do manual 
labor, and only when it is used in the medical jargon does it have this 
restricted meaning of "treating a patient." 

It will be superfluous to state that the enmneration as well as the 
description of the different methods as they appear in the following 
pages are the result of patient observation and of information from 
man}'- different sources, both oral and as written in the sundry manu- 
scripts; not one Cherokee medicine man realizes that his science can 
boast of such a wealth of curing methods. 

Some of the methods have no specific name in Cherokee. The 
names of those that do have one ^vall be found in the relevant formulas. 

Administering the medicine. — A given disease may be cured by 
merely administering the decoction or the infusion of the medicine 
prescribed. This procedure has been amply described on page 56 and 
does not here call for any further comment. 

Often the root or the bark of the simple prescribed is chewed by 
the patient, instead of being dnmk by hmi in a decoction or in an 

Bloiving the medicine. — In certain diseases, even if the ailment is 
held to be of an internal order, the medicine is not taken internally 
at all, but is sprayed over the patient, either over the whole of liis 
body or only over parts of it (e. g., over his head, his breast, etc.). 
This is usually done by means of the blowing tube (p. 58). The 
medicine man takes a long draught of medicine, without swallowing 
it, and then blows it with one continued jet over the patient. 

Often, instead of blowing the medicine over the patient the medicine 
man merely blows his breath. This may be done again by means of 
the blowing tube, but this instrument is often dispensed with. It 
could not be ascertained whether the use of the blowng tube is of 

oIbkecuts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 61 

any particular ritualistic meaning. The general feeling among the 
medicine men is that the blowing tube is used so as to be better able 
to direct the liquid or the aii*. If one feels that this effect is attained 
without the aid of the tube the latter is not used. 

As is customary when he is having medicine administered to him, 
the patient shoidcl face the east when the liquid or the medicine man's 
breath is being blown over hmi. 

Again, instead of being blown over the patient the medicine may 
be sprinkled over hun; a small pine branch is used for this purpose. 

In a few cases the cure is expected from an inunction with the 
liquid of the parts affected. This procedure is especially frequently 
associated with the "scratching" of the patient. (See p. 68.) 

Another method which can boast of all but intertribal reputation 
is to spray or pour the decoction on previously heated stones and to 
expose the patient to the vapors thus obtained. 

A practice which is verj' much related to the one just mentioned is 
the sweat bath, hardly less popular with the majority of the North 
American aborigines. The difference between the sweat bath and the 
vapor bath described seems to be that in the latter the curing power is 
expected from the ingredients of the decoction sprinkled on the stones, 
whereas in the sweat bath the object is primarily to cause the patient 
to profusely perspire. 

This custom is another one that has been discontinued, and it 
would not be possible now to obtain such a vivid description of it as 
Mooney has left us in his notes: "The operation was formerly per- 
formed in the a'st or 'hothouse,' a small low hut, intended for sleeping 
purposes, in which a fire was ahvays kept burning. It has but one 
small door, wliich was closed during the operation, in order to confine 
the steam. The patient divested himself of all clothing, and entered 
the a'st, when the doctor poured the hquid over the heated stones 
already placed inside, then retired and closed the door, leaving the 
patient to remain inside until in a profuse perspiration from the steam 
which filled the hothouse. The door was then opened and the man 
came out, naked as he was, and plunged into the neighboring stream. 
The sweat bath, with the accompanying cold plunge bath, was a 
favorite part of Indian medical practice as far north as Alaska, so 
much so that it was even adopted in cases of smallpox epidemics, when 
it almost invariably resulted fatally. The East Cherokee lost 300 
souls in consequence of pursuing this course of treatment for smallpox 
in 1865. The sweat bath is still in use among them,-^ but as the 
a'st is no longer built, the patient is steamed in his own house, and 
afterwards plunges into the nearest stream, or is placed in the open 
doorway and drenched with cold water over his naked body." 

2^ This was written by Mooney about 40 years ago. 


Massage plays a considerable part in Cherokee curing methods and 
is frequently mentioned. Although they use it in some cases where 
it is unquestionably of a nature to bring rehef, as in painful menstrua- 
tion, spraining, etc., it is resorted to in many other cases — as a rule as 
soon as there is evidence of any kind of swelling, whether of the stom- 
ach or of the knee — where it lacks the least degree of efficacy. The 
underlying principle is invariabl}^ that the swelling is the material 
evidence of an immaterial agent (the "important thing," the disease) 
and that this can be eliminated, expelled, ejected out of the affected 
part of the body by pressing and rubbing. 

Previous to starting the massaging, the medicine man always warms 
his hands near some Hve coals taken by his assistant — who is usually 
a member of the patient's household — from the hearth, and that are 
put do^vn near the medicine man on a shovel, on the lid of a pot, a fiat 
pan, or some other such receptacle. The medicine man warms his 
hands while he recites the first part of the formula, and then rubs the 
affected part, eventually under the clothes of the sufferer. The 
massage is done by the whole right hand, the palm effecting most of 
the pressure, and a circle of 6-7 centimeters from the center being 
described. Starting from the right, he moves upward, comes down 
to the left, continuing the motion for a few minutes, from 2 to 3 or 
6 to 7 times, as he sees fit. 

He then warms his hands again, reciting meanwhile the second part 
of the formula, and the whole treatment is continued until the (usually) 
four parts of the formula have been recited and followed by the rubbing. 

Mooney, SFC, p. 335, has drawn attention to the rubbing for 
treating snake bites. In this case the "operator is told to rub in a 
direction contrary to that in which the snake coils itself, because 'this 
is just the same as uncoiHng it'." 

A practice that was still faintly remembered when Mooney visited 
the tribe is the massage by means of a stamper made of the wood of 
persimmon. (See p. 59.) 

I have been surprised to find that the Cherokee all but ignore the 
elsewhere so popular and common method of transferring disease to 
other creatures — to fellow human beings, dead or ahve, to animals, to 
trees even, and to rocks, rivers, etc. 

Of the two only instances of this kind which I found — and I am 
pretty sure that no other varieties exist — one has very piobably been 
borrowed from the whites, if not in its actual form, at least in certain 
of its aspects. I am referring to the following practice on which only 
one informant (W.) could give me full particulars: A howling dog fore- 
bodes illness or death; the only way to avoid its prophecy being ful- 
filled is to command it to die itself, instead of the person, or the 
member of the household who is the object of its evil warning. (See 
p. 37.) 


The claim to aboriginality of the other mstance, however, rests on a 
sound and soUd basis: In some DaIo"'ni diseases (see p. 63) the sufferer 
goes to the river and there vomits. The formula recited on this 
occasion sends the illness, along with the vomit, floating down the 
river, to "the settlements where (other) people hve," and transfers the 
ailment to them (see p. 23). 

This practice is so reminiscent of other Cherokee incantation cere- 
monies that there is no doubt about its being indigenous. 

Vomiting into the river is also very common with merely the object 
in mind to get rid of the disease, without the intention being explicitly 
present of transferring it to the people living in other settlements along 
the river. Whether this intention ever imphcitly belonged to this 
practice it is not now possible to ascertain. 

A method that is again very frequently met with in various countries 
and among different tribes is one based on the beUef that the ailment 
can be banished, the pain diminished, by symbolic means, as by 
gradually diminisliing the number of ingredients in a decoction, by 
calling the disease by a series of names or objects of diminishing size, 
etc. (Compare German "abzahlen.") 

This practice is found in the Cherokee custom of curing certain 
ailments by drinking medicine all day long the first day, until noon 
the second day, until about 10 a. m. the third day, and until breakfast 
the"^ fourth day. 

Scratching, sucking, and burying the disease are methods that are 
being discussed with reference to the "chirurgical" methods of 
curing. (See p. 68.) 

If none of the multifarious methods described above brings any 
relief to the patient, and if it is deemed that no chances for his re- 
covery exist, a last effort is made: The patient, called, let us say. 
Climbing Bear, is abandoned to the disease, but a new name is 
bestowed upon the sufferer; henceforth, he >\ill be called, let us say, 
Cutting Ax; and, while the disease spirit may temporarily be deluded 
and gloat over his success in bringing Climbing Bear to his doom, a 
new series of treatments is inaugurated by the concerted action of the 
medicine man and the patient's relatives to save Cutting Ax. A 
man who owes his name, Alick, to such a procedure is now living on 
the reservation, not far from Big Cove. (See the description of the 
event by W., p. 67.) 

A mode of curing is to be mentioned finally which may not effect 
a cure by its sole power, yet is found associated so often with other 
curing methods that it should not be passed over in silence; I mean 
the circumambulation, so prominent in primitive rites in general, and 
in American Indian ceremonialism particularly. 

In many cases, before administering the medicine, the medicine 
man circumambulates the patient. The rite is, moreover, practiced 

7548°— 32 6 


as a preventive measure against the machinations of witches (see 
p. 13), and, with a view to faciUtating dehverj^, at the time of parturi- 
tion (see p. 123). 

The dextral circuit (sunwise) seems to be the most common and 
original one; the sinistral circuit is, however, not unlaiown, and may 
have its origin in the symbolical reversion of that which is customary. 
(Compare Germ. "Riickzauber.") 

To cjose this survey, which to the best of my knowledge is complete, 
it may be well to state that all of tliese methods are only practiced 
by tlie medicine men; all a layman may venture to do is to give a 
patient his medicine to drink, or to give him an additional inunction 
of his decoction, but all this only under the explicit direction of the 
worthy practitioner. (See p. 56.) 

Prescriptions as to Diet, Taboos, Etc. 

As will be seen in the chapter dealing with the formulas (p. 144), 
almost eveiy one of these is, or should be, accompanied by an often 
quite extensive explanation, listing the symptoms of the ailment 
against which the formula should be used, its cause, the simples to be 
gathered, with their mode of preparation, and finall}^ the restrictions 
to be observed. These restrictions, or taboos, are the object of the 
following lines. 

Roughly speaking they may be divided into two classes: Those 
referring to the diet of the patient; those referring to the care of the 
patient and to his behavior. 

As to the former, ample illustrations will be found of them in almost 
every formula or prescription, and I merely want to draw attention 
to them here, at the same time contributing a few notes toward 
making this custom more intelligible. 

For here again, as with almost every phase in the Cherokee treat- 
ment of disease, we are dealing with entities of a purely mythological 
nature. Every observant reader when looking over the formulas will 
be struck with the so often repeated prohibition of hot food and salt. 
The reason for this, as for many of these restrictions, can not be given, 
not even by the most erudite of the Cherokee medicine men. 
Mr. Mooney repeatedly in Ids notes expresses the opinion that salt 
and hot food are tabooed because they have been introduced by the 
whites, and are therefore thought to interfere with the action of the 
Indian medicine. I do not quite share this opinion. Even if the 
use of mineral salt had not spread among the Cherokee to the same 
extent as it did after the advent of the whites, yet they did know lye, 
and lye is prohibited by the medicine men in every case where salt is 

I noticed, furthermore, that now that the food introduced by the 
white people, such as canned goods, coifee, sugar, etc., is easily 



obtainable by the Clierokec, they never abstain from these articles 
when under medical treatment. 

It seems to me that the reason for these restrictions are to be 
sought in another direction: The smarting; of salt in open wounds and 
the scalding effect of hot food have probably given the people the 
notion that these two articles of diet are of a pain-aggravating 

One disease, g^'gd" a'naldzi'skwskQ'M ("when they spit blood"), 
is actually caused by "eating too much salt," Del. told me. 

It also struck me that these two restrictions always most rigorously 
apply in cases of hemorrhage (woands, menstruation, partus, etc.) 
or when there are smarting pains, even if these be internal, as in 
gonorrhea, pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc. 

Another significant fact that I ^\dsh to present to substantiate 
the view here defended is that a prescription of Ms. Ill, the object 
of which is to cure a sldn eruption, prescribes go. tN*o° a'ma' i;''tlotso'!i 
nt'Ges9''na ("and also grease witli which (however) no salt has been 

Roth, pages 348, 352, mentions two facts which of course could not 
prove my point of view, but which are nevertheless interesting paral- 
lels. "The Piache's (medicine man's) first prescription is to impose 
a general fast on the patient and his kinsfolk; the majority of the 
Piaches demand that no one belonging to the house should eat any- 
thing hot, anything cooked, or peppers" (p. 352). 

Apart from salt and hot food, which are prohibited in the greater 
majority of diseases, there are some other taboos that are to be 
observed when suffering from some particular ailments. 

So will the patient under treatment for rheumatism have to abstain 
from eating squirrel or rabbit meat, because of the hunchback position 
that is so characteristic of these animals; the one suffering from 
diarrhea should not eat fish or chicken, because the feces of these 
animals would seem to indicate that they are chronically afflicted 
with this very disease; the one ^dsited with watery blisters should 
abstain from all juicy fruit and vegetables, etc. 

Some of the taboos are to be observed during the course of the 
treatment only (usually four days), others "for a veiy long time," 
or "as long as possible," which may mean anything from a month to a 
year; others again for lifetime. 

In very rare cases, not only the patient, but also the medicine man 
treating him, as well as the assistant of the latter, who is usuall}^ a 
member of the patient's household, have to abstain from certain 
articles; e. g., when treating anj^one who has been wounded by a 
bullet or an arrow, the medicine man should not chew tobacco for 
four days; this same taboo has to be observed by the patient. 


Moreover, "in all cases of sickness, the doctor abstains from all 
food until he is done treating the patient for the day. This usually 
means until about noon, but in serious cases the doctor sometimes 
fasts until nearly sundo^^'n. He must not cat in the house of the 
patient but ma}" eat in the yard outside." (Mooney, Notes.) There 
is a marked tendency nowadays to abolish this custom stipulating 
that the treating medicine man should also observe the taboos. 

Fasting is a restriction that is rather frequently imposed upon the 
patients, but weshould have no misgivings. The proof that no sanitary 
consideration is to blame is obvious; the patient conscientiousl}" fasts 
until sunset, or in some cases until noon, when he is allowed to gorge 
himself with food as if he were the most robust and healthy individual 
on earth. 

With regard to the second group of taboos, those referring to the 
care of the patient and to his behavior, the most important one is the 
segregation of the patient. There is nothing to be added to the 
excellent account given of this custom b^^ Mooney, SFC, pages 330- 
332. It is still alive and thriving. It more than once happened to 
me when I went to call on a sick member of the tribe that I was only 
admitted after having sustained a rigorous cross-examination as to 
the "conditio physiologica uxoris meae," etc. (See p. 35.) 

In some cases (documentary evidence of all this will be found in the 
formulas themselves) there are various injunctions to be observed 
such as the following: 

If the disease is caused by birds, all feathers are to be removed from 
the cabin. (Feathers and quills are usually kept in the house to 
feather the arrows.) 

Nor should the children made lU by the birds be taken outside, lest 
the shadow of a bird, flj'ing overhead, might fall on it and aggravate 
the ailment. 

In diseases associated with the buffalo no spoon or comb made of 
buffalo horn, nor a hide of that animal, was to be touched. This 
taboo has been gleaned from a very old prescription, the age of which 
is shown by its contents; the buffalo has been extinct in the Cherokee 
country so long that the present Cherokee do not even remember 
what the animal looks like. 

The numerous injunctions and restrictions to be observed by a 
pregnant woman have been listed together. (See p. 120.) 

In some diseases, especially in those of the urinary passages, sexual 
intercourse is prohibited. It is possible that a long time ago the 
medicine man himself had to observe injunctions of continence as long 
as he had a patient of this kind under treatment, but I have not been 
able to gather definite information on this score. 

Attention should be drawn, finallj^, to the fact that the taboo may 
depend on the number of simples used, as in Formula No. 55, or again, 


on the mode of collecting them. In Ms. II a formula occurs in which 
the medicine man, when he goes out to gather the plants needed, 
states in an appropriate formula how long a period of restrictions he is 
going to prescribe to his patient. 

A Typical Curing Procedure 

We have now anal3^zed the difTerent and multifarious elements and 
concepts which we find entangled in Cherokee ideas on disease, its 
causes, and its treatment. Needless to say, neither the native patient 
nor the medicine man ever look at the problem in such a scrutinizing 
and analytical way. We will therefore now present a synthetic pic- 
ture of the w^hole as it is presented to the mind of the native. The 
following lines contain the account of a case of illness and of the 
treatment and curing of the same. The account was given me quite 
spontaneously and unsolicited by one (W.) who was an interested party. 
Apart from correcting the more flagrant grammatical lapses in it 
I have not changed it in any way and wall give in footnotes what little 
supplementary information may be necessary to make it intelligible. 

" Man}^ years ago ^^ my cousin, Charlie, Je.'s ^° son, was very ill ; he was 
very poorly; he was just about to die.^' My mother ^^ was very sorry 
for her daughter and for her grandson, and she sent after Doctor 
Mink,^^ asking him to come down to see what he could do. An 
evening, soon after. Doctor Mink came to our house and said he 
would spend the night.^* But my mother was anxious to know some- 
thing about her grandson's illness and prepared the cloth and the 
beads.^^ Mink examined with the beads, but he found that nothing 
could be done. My mother cried and was sorry because of her grand- 
son; she got some more white cloth and two more white beads, and 
asked the medicine man to try again. He did, but again he said the 
boy could not recover. And again my mother put some more cloth 
and two more beads down, but still there w^as no hope. A fourth 
time she got cloth and beads and the medicine man examined once 
more; but again he found that the boy was very poor, and that he 
would have to die. 

"I then proposed to go over the mountain to where the sick boy 
lived, and to go and see him anyway. We all went, and when we got 
there we found the boy unconscious. 

29 Thirteen years ago (information given November, 1926). 

30 W.'s half-sister; cf. pp. 9, 116 and pi. 12, a. 

31 He was ill with GQ'°wani'Gtstg°'.i, cf. p. 120. 

32 Ayo., herself a reputed medicine woman during her lifetime. (Cf. p. 9.) 

33 Alias Wil., son of cad. (cf. p. 9); two medicine men (now both deceased) 
from whom James Mooney obtained the Mss. II and III. 

" Cf. p. 97. 
85 Cf. p. 132. 


"I asked the doctor if he would come to the river with me; we 
took a dipper ^° which we filled with water, and when we got back to 
the house, we sprinkled some of it on the boy's face; I then went back 
to the river and poured the rest of the contents of the dipper away 
exactly where we dipped the water from. When I came back, I 
asked Doctor Mink if he would examine with the beads again to see 
if the boy could be cured : I prepared cloth and the beads ^^ and I 
went ^\ith Mink to the edge of the river. He examined with the 
beads, but found there was no hope. I put down some more cloth 
and beads, but again the doctor found there was no help. I then 
suggested to change the boy 's name. CharUe could die, but we would 
give him a new name; we would call him Alick.^^ Mink then again 
examined with the beads, and he found that Alick was going to get 
better. They tried a fourth time, and again there was hope. I 
then got Mink to examine to see if he would be able to cure him ; but 
he found he couldn't. Then he examined for another medicine man, 
and then for another, and another, and finally he found that Og.^^ 
could cure him. We then sent for Og. to cure hun. In the sick boy's 
house nobody was allowed to sleep that night.'"' Doctor Mink kept 
busy about the fire, working against the wdtches. 

"Og. came down every morning and every night; he did the curing, 
and Doctor Mink did the examining with the beads. Four days 
afterwards I went down to the river once more with Doctor Mink, 
and we found that in seven days Alick would be about, hunting. 
And so it was." 


As compared with the rest of their medical practice, surgery is 
but scantily represented in Cherokee curing methods. However, 
what little there is, is of sufficient interest and importance to be en- 
titled to a short sjmthetic description. 

As the first in importance the different methods of scarification de- 
serve to be mentioned. Scarification is still practiced extensively, 
and I may add intensively, not merely by the medicine men but also 
by the uninitiated. The ball players are still subjected to it, as has 
been minutely described by IMooney.'*^ The "scratching" of the 
ball players is usually practiced by means of the k^any^'ca instru- 

38 Cf. p. 58. 

*^ W. here plays the role of medicine man's assistant as his mother did in the 
previous ceremony (cf. p. 62). 

" I. e., Alexander. 

8B Cf. p. 112; pi. 9, a. 

*o Cf. p. 31. 

" "The Cherokee BaU Play," Amer. Anthrop., Ill (1890), pp. 105 seq.; cf. 
also Culin, "Games of the North American Indians," Twenty-fourth Ann. Rept. 
Bur. Amer. Ethn., 1907, pp. 575-587. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 69 

ment. This Is a comblike device and is quite a remarkable specimen 
of primitive inventive spirit. (PI. 7, d, i.) 

It is made of seven splinters of bone of a turkey leg, set into a 
frame of a turkey quill; the quill is folded over in four parts of pretty 
equal dimensions, so as to form a rectangular frame 5 centimeters by 
4 centimeters; where the two extremities meet they are tied together, 
and the seven bone splinters (about 5 cm. long and 3 mm. broad at 
the top; sharpened to a keen point at the bottom) are then stuck 
through the upper part of the quill frame, with intervals of not more 
than 1 or 2 millimeters; they are then also stuck thi'ough the bottom 
part of the frame, 1 or 2 milluneters of their cutting extremity piercing 
the frame at the bottom. With these seven sharp points the scratches 
are inflicted; and the ingenious way in which they are mounted pre- 
vents them from piercing so deep into the flesh as to inflict serious 

Although only the ball players are now being scratched by this 
instrument there are good reasons to believe that formerly it was 
also used in the treatment of certain ailments, where now such 
objects as flint arrowheads, briars, and laurel leaves (see infra) are 

Moreover, there seems to be a tendency nowadays for scarification 
to develop from a mythico-surgical operation as Mooney still found 
it 40 years ago in a rite of a purely symbolic nature. In many 
instances I observed that not only no "gashes" were inflicted, but 
that not even a particle of blood was drawn during the operation. 

Dt'DQ-^le'ski (rheumatism; cf. p. 292) and ailments which from a 
Cherokee point of view are related to this disease, are universally 
treated by this "scratching" method. The scarifying is here done 
by means of a flint arrowhead (oawi'skula'), preferably of the black 
variety. Old medicine men assert that this is the only variety 
(pi. 7, a) that should be used, but as this kind of arrowhead is getting 
scarce there is a tendency to use any other kind (pi. 7, 6). A still 
more curious shifting to a new position is shown in the custom which 
is rapidly gaining ground and according to which scratching is simply 
neglected, but an unworked piece of flint (also called Dawt'skiila', pi. 7, 
c) is merely held against the sore joint, the formula for scratching 
being recited at the same time. 

Schematically this evolution could be represented as follows: 

Black flint arrowhead to scratch with 

i i 

Any arrowhead to scratch Any piece of hlack jiint held 

with. against aching spot 

I did not find that any articles imported by the whites, such as 
knives, nails, glass, etc., were in use as scratching instruments. 



All kinds of briars, especially those of blackberry shrubs, nvGo'tlo" 
(pi. 7, e), are also used to slightly scarifj^ the skin. By what poor 
means I had at my disposal I used to treat Jud. (see p. 114; pi. 10, a) 
for rheumatism in his knee. Whenever I went to see him in his 
cabin he stubbornly refused to be rubbed \\'ith the embrocation I 
used, before he had gone out, cut a thorny branch off some shrub, 
and scratched his knee. When he came to my quarters to be rubbed I 
he never forgot to bring his briars! 

A few leaves of the laurel {Kalmia latifolia L.) are also used for the 
same purpose. Ten or twelve leaves (originally probably seven) are 
plucked, kept together between thumb and forefinger (pi, 7,f), and a i 
few strokes with the bristly edges are given over the skin. I was sur- 1 
prised to find, when I had this scarification practiced on me as an 
experiment, that the marks were visible and the irritation of the skin 
sensible for over a week. 

Finally there is to be mentioned the tooth of the rattlesnake as a 
scarifying instrument. When used for the preparation of the mem- j 
bers of the ball-game team it was customary until 50 years or so ago . 
to use two of these teeth, tied together. Why this was done, and how 
the instrument was made, informants were unable to tell me. The 
scratching with one tooth, as practiced in the treatment of disease, 
is described by Mooney in his notes as follows: "Beginning with the I 
right hand (the medicine man) draws the tooth from the end of the 
first finger *^ along the back of the hand, up the arm, across the breast, 
and down the left leg and foot, making one long gash. He then re- 
peats the operation in the same way, beginning with the left hand i 
and ending wdth the right foot. Next he begins at the end of the f 
right thumb, drawing the tooth up along the arm, around the back of 
the neck to the left shoulder, and down again in front along the left 
leg and foot. Then he reverses the operation, beginning with the 
left thumb and ending with the right foot. He then scratches the 
skin at random over the affected part, or over the limbs and the body 
according to the nature of the sickness. . . . These scratches are not 
deep, being intended not to draw blood but to enable the liquid ap- 
plication to take a better hold upon the skin. In scratching small 
children, the . . . (medicine man) uses the back of the tooth." In 
some cases children are scratched over the tongue. 

This mode of scarification seems to have died out, however; not a 
single instance of it came to my attention during my stay; nor was 
there one medicine man of the many I knew having such an instrument 
in his possession. 

As for the scarification with such objects as flint arrowheads, briars, 
laurel leaves, the scratches are usually only inflicted locallj'" — on the 

*2 Also of the middle finger. — F. M. 0. 


knee, the wrist, the elbow, etc. — and are not more than 5 to 6 centi- 
meters long. From sLx to a dozen of them may be applied, usually 
parallel, but in some cases half of them may be scratched from left 
to right, the other half up and down, so that the whole presents a 

After any scarification, whatever "instruments" may have been 
used, an infusion of very pungent plants (see p. 53) is rubbed over 
the scarified area; it is undeniable that this treatment is often effica- 
cious to allay the pains caused by neuralgia, nervous headache, and 
similar complaints. Similar observations have been made by W. E. 
Koth*^ and by Prof. J. P. Kleiweg de Zwaan.^* 

Generally spealdng, scarification is performed to cure such diseases 
as are not permanently located in a definite part of the body, as 
rheumatism, which may be more pronounced in the knee joints one 
day and in the hip the next; or "pains moving about" (neuralgia), 
for neuralgia of the teeth, for "pains appearing in different places," 

Fractures. — The knowledge and the professional skill of the medicine 
men with regard to fractures is scanty indeed. The fractured mem- 
ber is fitted together as nicely as can be managed and one or more 
sticks are tied alongside of it; as soon as the patient reaches home two 
boards are hewn, of which a casing is made, and that takes the place 
of the sticks. Complete rest is prescribed and a decoction of tsfyu' 
{Liriodendron tulipifera L., tulip tree, poplar, whitewood) is blown, 
by means of the blowing tube (see p. 58), on the fractured limb. As 
the medicine men put it themselves: "If everything has been fixed 
nicely the bones will grow together again and heal; but often they 
don't and then the man will not have the use of his Hmb again." 

If a lower lunb has been broken or disjointed and has failed to heal 
sticks and simple crutches, not different from the simpler forms known 
to the rural whites, are used. 

A fracture which is fairly common is that of the collar bone; the 
rough way in which Cherokee ball players handle each other during 
the game often results in a player being tossed clear up into the air 
and falling down headforemost. To avoid falling on his head, or 
breaking an ann, the head is held on one side, and the arms are held 
horizontally extended. A broken collar bone is often the result. 

Here again no other method of curing is attempted than blowing a 
decoction of poplar bark on the shoulder and breast. The patient is 
ordered to keep his arm at an angle of 45° in front of his breast, i. e., 
to take the position which in our hospitals is enforced by the suspen- 
sion bandage. Most cases heal successfully. 

*^ "An Inquiry into the Animism and Folk-Lore of the Guiana Indians," 
Thirtieth Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn. (1915), p. 280. 
""Die Heilkunde der Niasser," den Haag 1913, p. 135. 


Dislocation. — Cases of dislocation are treated as efRcaciously as one 
can expect. Three or four friends get hold of the patient and simply 
pull long and frantically until they believe the rebellious joint has 
resumed its original position. As to the ultimate outcome, tho same 
fatalistic view is taken as with regard to fractures. 

Dentistry. — The art of the stomatologist is in its very piime among 
the Cherokee. If neuralgia is felt, it may be treated as — 

(1) Dt'DQ-le'ski (see p. 292); in this case the jaw, the cheek, or the 
temple may be scratched by arrowhead, briars, or laurel leaves. 
(See p. 70.) 

(2) Else the medicine man may proclahn that the pain is caused by 
insects. (See p. 28.) This is especially the explanation if there is 
any visible swelling or inflammation. If such is the case a treatment 
is adopted the main object of which is the sucking out of the insect. 
(See p. 73.) 

If a tooth shows visible signs of decay the actual causes of pain are 
not so much believed to be of a mythical nature. The pain is com- 
bated as long as possible, by thrusting in the cavity of the aching 
tooth a small quid of ordinarj^ chewing tobacoo; eventually, in a fit 
of raging pain, the tooth is knocked out with a stone or a hammer. 

A half-blood, whose scientific progress had attained the point 
where he pulled teeth by means of a pair of tongs, did a thriving 
business, people from miles around walking to his house to be "oper- 
ated upon." 

Wounds, boils, etc. — Wounds caused by a cutting instrument, such 
as an ax, a knife, a strong splinter of wood, are always treated by the 
recitation of a song (see p. 271) by the medicine man, or, if the case is 
urgent, by the patient himself or by a member of his household, if 
they know the formula. The infusion of tsf'yu bark (see p. 71) is 
usually blown over the wound afterwards. 

Nowadays the woimd is usually bandaged in a very summary way 
with some stray bit of rag. It would^appear that no surgical dressing, 
of botanical matter or of skins, was practiced before the introduction 
of cloth. 

Severe hemorrhage, especially resulting from wounds inflicted by 
arrows or bullets, is stopped by a plaster of buzzard's do%vn. The use 
of birds' down for this purpose is practiced by several American 
Indian tribes. 

Contusions and internal wounds caused by falling or by being hit 
by heavy, blunt instruments, as by a club, a tree branch, etc., are 
treated by the panacea: the infusion of tsf'yu bark, blown over the 
aching spot; no formula is recited, however. 

Use of the sucking horn. — The discussion of the following practice 
under the caption of "Surgery" might be challenged with some 
reason, but the practice is undeniably of a surgical nature according 

Olbkechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 73 

to Cherokee standards. The instrument used (u'yo'*no° "horn" when 
off the anmial; cf. ytluca', "horn," when still attached) used to be 
made out of a buffalo horn: yansa' i»'yo''no° it is still often called in 
the medicinal prescriptions. Nowadays a cow horn provides the raw 

The top and the base of the horn are cut off, leaving a slightly 
tapering tube about 4 centimeters long which is shaved off on the out- 
side and on the inside. The top opening, which is the narrower, is 
covered by the tight]}'" stretched skin of a turkey's gizzard. The 
whole has the appearance of a small liqueur goblet. (PI. 7, g.) 

This contrivance is used very much as the cupping glass of the white 
physician is used, with this difference, that the oxygen-absorbing role 
of combustion being unknown, the air is eliminated by sucking. The 
horn is placed on the part of the body that is to be operated upon, 
and by setting it slightly at an angle, the medicine man manages to 
eliminate the air out of the cavity by sucking at the bottom of the 
horn. Although the cupping glass and the sucking horn have a very 
wide distribution, this is, as far as I am avrare, a unique waj'" of using 
this instrument. 

It often happened that at the end of the operation some small object, 
a small pebble, a worm, an insect, was found in the horn. This the 
medicine man claimed had been extracted from the body and was the 
disease agent. The horn was used especially in ailments where a 
swelling was noticeable, such as toothache, boils, etc. Nowadays it 
is seldom used. As a matter of fact there was not one specimen to 
be found while I stayed v/ith the Cherokee, and I had to have one 
made by Del. (see j). 115; pi. 7, g), one of the few medicme men who 
still remembered their use and who knew how^ to make them. 

Whenever there is now any sucking to be done the horn is simply 
dispensed with, the medicine man merely applying his lips to the 


Neither the utter neglect of hygienic precautions nor the total 
ignorance of measures to prevent and avert disease which we find 
prevailing in primitive communities should cause us any surprise. 

These conditions are to be explained by the proverbial lack of fore- 
sight which seems to be the appanage of all less civilized groups. 
The problem of the day is enough for the mind of these happy-go- 
lucky people, "Let us enjoy health while we have it, and if anything 
goes wTong there is the medicine man to look after it. " 

It is explained also by the existence of a kind of prophylaxis which 
by ethnologists is not generally considered as such; it might be called 
a "mythological prophylaxis," viz, the careful observance of all in- 
junctions and restrictions governing tribal life. If a Cherokee does 
not expectorate into the fire, he consciously or unconsciously observes 


this taboo simply that he may not be visited with toothache. If his 
wife is careful not to leave any offal of dressed game about the yard 
this again is done in order that none of the household may contract a 

Similarly, amulets and charms are, usually worn with the definite 
object of averting evil under all its multifarious forms, of which 
disease is by no means the least important. 

Another reason for the lack of prophylactic measures among these 
peoples may be that the thought of a sporadic illness or ailment is not 
of so serious a nature as to impress their minds enough to set them to 
actively thinking of an expedient to avert the calamity. In this 
respect it is interesting to note how thoro uglily and generally "pro- 
phylaxis" is practiced against all contagious diseases and epidemics, 
such as primus inter pares, smallpox, that terrible scourge of American 
Indians in general and of the Cherokee in particular. 

Yet, with the Cherokee, beliefs and practice ^\dth regard to proph}'^- 
laxis in disease are not quite so hopeless as we find them elsewhere; 
I do not mean to say that they pay such attention to rules of hygiene 
as we would approve of, nor that they practice certain prophylactic 
measures that we would consider efficacious, but we are confronted 
with a more pronounced exertion to forestall sickness and pain than 
we are wont to find; this has to be accounted for, no doubt, by the 
tremendous stress which is laid in Cherokee tribal life on the ver}-- 
problems of disease and curing. 

As we have seen, according to the Cherokee theory of disease and 
its causes, disease preferably attacks — whether of its own accord or 
by the activity of a powerful disease causer — those people who are 
"constitutionally predisposed" as we would put it. Witches 
especially, and man-killers, evil wizards, attack people that are weak 
and in poor health, because these will far more easily fall a victim and 
a prey to their nefarious machmations than would the stronger, 
healthier, more robust individuals. 

As soon, therefore, as anybody is grievously ill, one or more medi- 
cine men or lay assistants (the latter often relatives of the patient) 
take turns to watch in his cabin from sunset to sunrise in order to 
"guard against witchcraft." The smoldering ashes of the hearth 
are raked to one side and nicely trimmed into a neat little cone-shaped 
heap. A tiny pinch of crushed "old" tobacco {Nicotiana rustica L.) 
is dropped over the smoldering ashes. If a particle of the tobacco 
dust should flare up on any of the sides of the cone of ashes this shows 
that a witch is on the way to the dwelling of the sick person to aggra- 
vate his condition; should the worker of evil happen to be right 
overhead, or should he, though invisible, be inside the room, the 
sacred tobacco would land right on the top of the heap of ashes, and 
there flare up with a loud burst; this burst is believed to kill the witch. 


Even though this rite be gone through while the person for whose 
benefit it is performed is already ill, it is none the less a rite which, 
from a Cherokee point of view, has a decided prophylactic character. 
It is not expected to cure the patient but to prevent any "worker of 
evil" taking advantage of his weakened condition to cast another and 
more deadly illness on the sufferer. 

A variant of this rite is the smoking of the same sacred tobacco 
(blended, on account of its excessive scarcity, with at least 90 per cent 
of ordinary smoking tobacco) out of a pipe. The medicine man lights 
the pipe (preferably an old native carved soapstone pipe, although if 
such a specimen is not available a usual white trader's pipe is reluc- 
tantly substituted) and slowly walks round the patient's cabin, 
starting on the east side; after having inhaled a powerful puff of smoke 
he blows it toward the sky, then straight in front of him, then toward 
the east, and finally toward the ground. 

This is done because some wdtches can not only wallv on the ground 
(ad libitum in their human shape, or in the shape of any quadruped 
they choose) but they can also fly through the air, and can even 
travel under the surface of the earth. The smoke of the sacred 
tobacco prevents them from approaching in any of these ways. 

Continuing his circuit, the medicine man halts at the north side, 
next at the west, and finally at the south side of the house, blowing 
the three puffs every time he halts, until the circumambulation is 

Contagious diseases. — It is the feeling of those who have made a 
special study of the problem of epidemics in pre-Columbian times that 
this scourge was relatively rare on the American continent. In view 
of this, we can easily follow the mode of reasoning of the natives, 
when they ascribe the origin of contagious disease to the whites. They 
often even go so far as to accuse the white people, and especially the 
white physicians, of purposely letting an epidemic loose among the 
Indians, in order to wipe them from the face of the continent by a 
quick and efficacious expedient. (See p. 39.) 

With the Cherokee, as soon as there were rumors of an epidemic 
breaking loose — when it was known that a near-by settlement was 
affected, or when there was a case of illness which was pronounced by 
the old people, who had witnessed previous epidemics, to be a case 
of the disease in question — one of the most reputed medicine men 
announced his intention to hold a medicine dance, to safeguard the 
people against the coming evil. The w^hole community turned out 
at the scheduled time; the medicine dance was danced, the medicine 
"against all diseases" was prepared by the medicine men and drunk 
by the people. The medicine dance has not been staged for such a long 
time now that the only medicine man who knew the songs and the 
medicine used died during my stay with the tribe, in the spring of 1927. 


Other prophylactics. — These are of an individual nature and are used 
not only against contagious but against any kind of diseases. They 
are charms prepared from the skunk (Dt'la') and the buzzard (su'h'), 
"The odour of skunk ... is beheved to keep off contagious diseases, 
and the scent bag is therefore taken out and hung over the doorway, 
a small hole being pierced in it, in order that the contents niiiy ooze 
out upon the timbers. At times, as in the smallpox epidemic of 
1866, the entire body of the animal was thus hung up, and in some 
cases as an additional safeguard the meat was cooked and eaten and 
the oil rubbed over the sldn of the person." ''^ 

Buzzard feathers are hung over the doorway, and I have also 
witnessed a case where the whole carcass was hung up in the room and 
was allowed to decay there; a measure the prophylactic value of 
which many of us wdll be prone to doubt. 

The buzzard is used in tliis connection because of its habit of 
preying on decayed carcasses and rubbish; as he is immune from any 
ill effects, "caused by the bad odors," he is supposed by the Cherokee 
to be immune from disease-contracting propensities, and therefore to 
be able to communicate this valuable trait to those who keep his 
feathers, etc., as a charm. 

Another contagious disease the Cherokee are in great dread of is 
whooping cough. As soon as there is known to be a case in the settle- 
ment parents prepare a decoction of uwe't'i' {Eryngium yuccijolmm 
Michx., rattlesnake master, button snakeroot) and administer it to 
all of their children which they consider susceptible of contracting 
the ailment. 

Various simples are used to help children grow into fine specimens 
of manhood or womanhood, without their deserving the privilege 
of being listed under the caption of proph3^]axis. There is one 
medicine, however, in a decoction of which babies are to be bathed 
every new moon: k'ane'si' {Orontiuiii aquatlcum L., goldenclub). 

Measures to prevent toothache arc numerous. When you see a 
shooting star you must immediately spit, else you will lose a tooth. 
If you always hoed this injunction you will keep all your teeth sound 
as long as you live. 

Never throw the remains of anything you have chewed (a quid of 
tobacco, the skin of an apple in wliich you have bitten, etc.) into the 
fire; "else the fire will chow your teeth." 

Another means, not so simple but even more efficacious: Catch a 
"green snake" (a snake about 50 cm. long; not poisonous) and hold it 
horizontally extended by neck and tail; then run it seven times back 
and forth between the two rows of teeth, after which turn it loose. 
No food prepared with salt is to be eaten for the first four days follow- 

"Mooney, J., Myths of the Cherokee. Nineteenth Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. 
Ethn., Washington, 1900, pp. 2G5-266. 

OlTrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 77 

ing this operation. It will keep your teeth sound as long as j^ou live. 
The Tuscarora know exactly the same toothache-preventive practice. 

In order not to be afflicted with boils this is the remarkable and 
unappetizing advice given: Swallow the body of a living daddy-long- 
legs (Da''kwsuli'), after first having pidled its legs ofl^. 

The awe-inspiiing collection of Cherokee sacred and medicinal 
formulas contain quite a few that are to be recited to avert o\dl and 
disease; most of them, are prayers of the Idnd which are called in 
German "Segen"; some of them are believed to insure a safe journey 
if recited before setting out; others are claimed to make the recitant 
invulnerable in war or strife, as one in Ms. Ill; others again are held to 
keep the feet from being frost bitten (cf. Formula No. 60, p. 258), when 
walking on the snow, etc. 

In none of these cases is any material object used, however, and they 
are therefore not further discussed here. 

Change From Within — Influence From Without 

In the course of this chapter attention has been called to a couple of 
instances where the use of "surgical" instruments can actually be 
caught in the process of an evolution. (See p. 69.) 

Also, in the paragraph sketching a few of the leading Cherokee 
medicine men, there wiU be occasion to point out a change in practice 
resulting from a modification in conception and outlook. 

There are some more instances where Cherokee conceptions and 
ideas wdth regard to disease can be shown to have undergone, or to be 
in the act of undergoing, some important changes. 

In this respect it has been fortunate indeed that such a keen 
observer as James IMooney repeatedly visited the tribe, his first visit 
dating as far back as 1887. At that time it was still possible to obtain 
information on a great many questions on which no light could now 
be shed by any of the present medicine men. Moreover, at that time 
the explanation and exegesis of the older ioiormants was free of 
skepticism and sopliistication. 

I^Iuch of what Mr. ^Mooney collected could now no longer be ob- 
tained, and this in itself partly illustrates the process of change which 
the Cherokee, as eveiy other of the American Indian tribes, is under- 
going. Ha\'ing Mooncy's statements as to what conditions were like 
in the eighties, and comparing them with the state of things in 1926-27, 
it is possible to see in what respects ideas have changed, in how far 
opinions have altered. 

Forty-five years seem a short span of time for fundamental changes 
to occur in the belief and the ritual of a community living so secluded a 
life as do the Cherokee in their mountains, but it should be borne in 
mind that they have been exposed to white influence for many gener- 
ations, and that even more than a hundred years ago there existed. 


besides the traditionalists or conservatives, a lot of "progressive" 
Cherokee who did not look unfavorably upon the adoption of white 

Such being the condition, the death of every old medicine man, of 
every staunch traditionalist, means a blow to the culture of yore that 
is truly irremediable : A considerable portion of the aboriginal religion, 
ritual, and science dies with him; and maybe a score of myths and 
stories, a song or six, and a couple of dances will never again be heard. 
If one has had the sad experience to witness such a departure — as 
Mooney lived to see Ay . die and as I helped to carry Og. to his grave 
on a Big Cove mountain slope — only then does one realize that, if 
with one man so much of the aboriginal knowledge dies, how much this 
tribe must have lost and forgotten during the last few generations. 

In spite of all this, however much of their ritual and however many 
of their tenets of belief they may have lost, it is remarkable how un- 
contaminated by white or any other influence is the bulk of Cherokee 
medicinal knowledge. 

The follomng are the only beliefs and practices in the domain of 
medicine that can actually be traced to European influence: 

A cromng hen causes a death in the family; the death can be averted 
by Idlling the animal. 

This is a very general common European belief;^® that it actually 
crossed the Atlantic \^dth the European settlers appears from Bergen, 
Fanny D., Animal and Plant Lore, nos. 1335-38 and also Notes, p. 160. 

A howling dog hkewise "causes" death. (It is interesting to note 
that what in European folklore is considered as an omen may become 
a cause in Cherokee belief. (See p. 37 .) ^^ W. told me that his mother, 
Ayo., used to scold the dog, and command the animal to either stop 
howling or else to die itself. If the dog died, its evil-foreboding 
howling had no further effect. 

The burning of old shoe soles in a piuificatorj^ rite against contagious 
disease is another practice which is undoubtedly of Eiu-opean origin; 
old shoe soles were considered an efficacious means to combat the 
plague in Shakespeare's time,^® and also the Negro has boiTOwed this 
remarkable panacea from the white man's pharmacy. (Puckett, pp. 

** Tetzncr, Dr. Fr., Deutsches Sprichworterbuch, Leipzig, (n. d.), p. 268. 
Eckart, R. : Niederdeutsche Sprichworter, Braunschweig, 1893, p. 558. Le 
Roux de Lincy: Le Livre des proverbes fran^ais, Paris, 1842, Part I, p. 146. 
De Cock, Alfons, Spreekwoorden en Zegswijzen over de Vrouwen, de Liefde en 
het Huwelijk, Gent, 1911, p. 32. 

*'' Cf. Rolland, Eug., Faune populaire de la France, Paris, 1877-1909, Part IV, 
pp. 66 seq. De Cock, Alfons, Spreekwoorden, Gezegden en Uitdrukkingen op 
Volksgeloof berustend, Antwerpen, 1920, Part I, p. 97. 

« Cf. Wilson, T. P. The Plague in Shakespeare's London, Oxford, 1907, p. 11. 


To give a dog water to drink with which cartridges have been 
rinsed, in order to make it a sure tracker, is another practice which 
only too eAadently shows its pedigree. 

There are, moreover, some beUefs and practices of which it is not 
possible to saj" whether they have been borrowed from European 
folklore or whether they have originated independently. Such are 
to my mind: 

The vomiting into the river. (See p. 63.) 

The use of spider web as a styptic. 

The remarkable properties ascribed to such materia medica as 
stump water (see p. 57) and lightning-struck wood (see p. 54). 

The saying with regard to a shooting star. (See p. 37.) It is to 
be noted, however, that in European folldore it is believed that when 
you see a star shooting j^ou should formulate a wish, which will 
surely be fulfilled. So the two beliefs are not really identical; but 
one may easily have been transformed into the other after having 
passed through the oral tradition of several generations. 

Not only is there this borrowing from the sources of European 
folklore, there is also an unmistakable influence of white scientific 
medical views, which, it is needless to saj^, are very ill digested and 
pretty badly mutilated. 

A medicine man who had been dead some 3^ears, "Standing 
Deer," had told Del. that i;'*kayo"'Do° u'msiVaskg' (lit., "when they 
cough in a dry way," the Cherokee equivalent of our tuberculosis) is 
caused by swallowing dust, which becomes a big ball in our lungs. 
This view is no doubt a residue of the lessons in hygiene taught at 
the Government school. At one time T. gave me a similar account. 
When I asked him in a fitting way his ^dews on the origin of disease 
he told me he could hardly answer that question — it was too difficult 
for him. He had heard that "some pretend that all disease is caused 
by very fine dust, so fine you can hardlj^ see it, flying around in the 
room. It gets into our body and makes disease there, they say. 
Maj^be it's true; maj^be it isn't." 

Some cases have come to mj notice where these scientific medical 
principles are not bluntly taken over, but are happily blended with 
already existing aboriginal opinions. So, e. g., diseases that used to 
be ascribed to neglect of ritual in killing game (asking pardon, build- 
ing a fire, etc.) are now often said to be caused by the hunter inhaling 
"bad odors" of the animal while skinning and dressing it. Another 
instance of this trend of ideas is the following, where it is easy to 
see that such explanations of the disease as by "the food having been 
changed" (see p. 33) has been active: 

"Maybe disease results from wbat we eat. Whenever I went up 
north, to the white people's settlements, I did not like the food; I 
7548°— 32 7 


ate but little and was hiingiy all the time; still 1 always felt well; 
but when I came back home for a few months, I again ate aU I liked, 
just my own business, and as much as I wanted; I suffered from 
stomach troubles all the time. The food we eat ma}'' have some 
disease in it. There may be a disease in apples, eggs, potatoes, 
etc." (W.) 

Attitude of the Community Tow^ard the Sick 

In a community such as is here described not a thing, of however 
small import, happens to a member without all the others knowing 
about it and taking a keen interest in it. 

Illness is too fickle a thing and is of too restless and shifting a nature 
to think or to talk lightly about it, even if it is only our neighbor 
who happens to be stricken just now. \'V^io can tell whether we our- 
selves will not be the next to be visited? 

The sick man therefore can rely on the sympathy and the commis- 
eration of his feJlows. If a member of the sufferer's houshold is met, 
or one of his neighbors, or any one at all who is expected to know 
how he is, questions as to his condition are always eagerly asked, and 
you can feel that these are urged by motives of sympathy and pity 
rather than by civility or inquisitiveness. 

Nor do the people give proof of their sympathy b}' mere display 
of words — the actions are not found wanting. If the head of a family 
is ill, and is unable to provide for his family, aU the able-bodied 
members of the settlement turn out on an appointed day and work 
all day felling trees and sawing and cutting the logs, so that the 
family may have firewood. If the man is still ill at coni-planting 
time the whole community will again rise to the occasion, plow his 
fields and plant his com, etc.; even hoeing the fields of the sick and 
gathering their harvests is done for them free of charge, and with the 
most cheerful good will in the w'orld. 

This "mutual aid society," as it might aptly be called, has a chief 
chosen by the members, who holds office for a year. The election is 
a very informal affair and as a rule merely consists in the nomination 
of a popular individual by two or three of his friends and the oral 
assent of the rest; it usually takes place about corn-planting time, 
when as a rule the members have to meet anyv/ay to work for some 
sick neighbor. The chief is assisted by a kind of messenger, who, at 
the former's bidding, has to call out the members w^henever necessary. 

This chief is at present looked upon pretty much as the chief of 
the settlement; it is also his duty, in times of drought, to go, accom- 
panied by sLx other men, and invite a medicine man, who is expert at 
rain making, to use his art for the benefit of the people and their crops. 

The same fine community spirit is displayed on the occasion of such 
a calamity as a fire. If a member of the settlement loses his cabin and 


all it contains by fire all the people will help him to rebuild his home, 
and, what is more, to refurnish it. One will be able to spare a blan- 
ket, another will donate a chair, someone else a cooking vessel, etc., 
until the family is fitted out again, sometimes better than before the 

During my stay the following rather amusing thing happened; it 
is a good example of the good heartedness and the generosity of these 
people : 

On the outskirts of k^o-'lom^'yi', in an adjacent cove was a clus- 
ter of seven houses, one of which was inhabited by a half-blood, a 
\cry bad character, with his wife and two children. 

Once while he was serving a sentence for his "moonshine" activi- 
ties, and when his wife and children had crossed the mountain to 
spend the night at her parents', the neighbors by concerted and pre- 
meditated efforts set fire to the house, thinking that by so doing 
they would prevail upon the annoying family to move to some other 
settlement. The house burned down to the ground; not a basket 
was saved. But when the next day the culprits saw the despair of 
the poor woman they forthwith agreed that all the able-bodied neigh- 
bors (who were all directly or indirectly guilty of the arson) would 
rebuild her cabin on the veiy spot where it had stood before. Within 
a week the building was under construction. 

Efficacy of Treatment 

There are many statements in the descriptions and relations of 
early travelers on the American continent of the amazing sldll of the 
native doctors and on the extraordinary results obtained by them. 
In many instances they are even compared to the contemporaiy 
European practitioners, and not alwa^^s to the advantage of the 

We should, however, bear in mind that in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries European medical practice, with its belief in 
such drogues and remedies as scrapings of unicorn, in mummy, 
human fat ("adeps hominis"), Digby's powder of sympathy, etc.,"^'' 
in the most revolting and disgusting ingredients,^^ was still nearer the 
era of Plinius than that of Pasteur. 

As regards the efficacy of Cherokee medical treatment the facts 
amply speak for themselves. In a very mteresting survey Alooncy 
has discussed this subject (SFC, p. 324 seq.), and comes to the 

■»» Cf. Van Andel, Dr. M. A.: "Klassieke Wondermiddelen," Gorinchem, 192S. 
Cf. also, Lemerj', Nicolas: " Dictionnaire ou Trait6 Universel des Drogues 
simples," 3d. edit., Amsterdam, 1716. 

'" Cf. PauUini, K. F.: "Heilsame Dreck-Apotheko, wie nehmlich mit Koth 
und Urin die meisten Krankheiten und Schaden glucklich geheilet worden," 
II, Franckf. 1699, but still reprinted iu Stuttgart, 1847. 


conclusion that only 25 per cent, or at the most 35 per cent, of the 
botanical materia medica used bj^ this tribe is in accordance with the 
rules and principles laid down by the United States Dispensatory 
(14th ed.), 1877. 

With the additional material collected by Mooney and by myself 
it will be possible to publish a more complete survey in the near 
future, the results of which already indicate that the tentative esti- 
mate made, based on the material then available, is altogether too 

Even the "white people's" medical knowledge has made consider- 
a])le progress these last 50 years, and in the United States Dispensa- 
tory, 14th ed., 1877, properties are ascribed to many plants which 
the 19th edition, 1907, has not cared to reprint. The eliminatory 
process of reducing the some 8,000 "officinal" plants which western 
European official therapeutics once knew has played such havoc with 
these numbers that only about 300 plants are now officially recog- 
nized as officinal. ^^ Thus several of the Cherokee plants the use of 
which was sanctioned by the school of half a century ago would now 
be deemed indifferent. 

It should also be stressed that if a simple used by the Cherokee in 
the treatment of a particular disease happens to be incorporated 
in a Dispensatory, or listed in a Handbook of Pharmacy, this mere 
fact in no way confirms the efficacy of the Cherokee mode of using it. 

The Cherokee rule of practically always using the bark of the trees 
and the roots of the weeds and herbs does not always do justice to the 
actual officinal parts of the simples used. Moreover, the mode of 
administration of a medicine, which is of such capital importance, 
is not deemed to be of any import whatsoever by the Cherokee 
practitioners. Of many simples, the curative value of which are 
highly extolled by the Dispensatory, if only the product be taken 
internall}^, the Cherokee medicine man will make an infusion or a 
decoction, and blow it on the patient sitting 3 or 4 feet distant. 
Finally, as has already been stated, no attention whatever is paid to 
dosing the patient, nor to his idiosyncrasy. 

The same evaluation applies to such practices as the prescriptions 
relating to diet, seclusion of the patient, vomiting, etc. At first 
these strike us as factors that may help considerably to cause or to 
maintain conditions that help the patient in many cases on the road 
to recovery. 

But here again appearances deceive. As far as diet is concerned, 
e. g., a particular kind of food is never proscribed because it is thought 
not to agree with the condition of the patient, but this taboo is simply 

51 von Marilaun, A. Kerner: "Das Leben der Pflanzen." Dutch translation 
by Dr. Vitus Bruinsma, Zutphen, n. d., Pt. IV, p. 361. 

Ol'^bbkhts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 83 

based on mythological reasons; as, for instance, when rabbit's meat is 
prohibited because rabbits are believed to be responsible for the disease. 

Nor is the injunction of fasting of a nature that could be called 
hygienic; whereas the patient may stubbornly fast, and refuse to take 
even a particle of food all day long, immediately after sunset he will 
eat voraciously and gorge himself with quantities of food that might 
very well ruin the stomach of a perfectly healthy individual. 

As for the so-called seclusion of patients, this is a taboo of the same 
tragico-comical nature: A visitor coming from the outside v/ill be 
curtly refused admittance to the patient's bedside, or will only be 
allowed to enter after a most scrutinizing interrogation as to the 
condition of his wife, etc.; women when pregnant, or ''under restric- 
tions" for other reasons (see p. 34) are rigorously excluded. But the 
peace and the quietness around the patient that might thus be 
obtained, and that might be of benefit to him, are of no moment at all; 
inside the children may be carrying on as if bedlam were let loose, and 
I have witnessed cases of grown-up sons who would practice on a 
guitar in a most distracting and irritating manner for hours at a 
stretch within three yards of their very sick father. 

Nor is the Cherokee way of purging by vomiting as efficacious a 
practice as we would at first be inclined to believe. Vomiting is 
resorted to far too frecjuently, and in eight cases out of ten without 
any plausible reasoa, and therefore without any beneficial result. 
In many cases patients take no food all day, yet force themselves to 
this painful procedure of vomiting several times before sunset, 
quite an alarming state of exhaustion often being the result. 

This should be no cause of surprise to us, since we know that 
vomiting is practiced not so much to eliminate unwholesome or 
indigestible foodstuffs, but merely to "throw off our spoiled saliva" 
(see p. 15), or for similar reasons. 

To come to a conclusion: If we marvel at it that ever a Cherokee 
patient recovers, we feel that we have to give the credit to his strong 
constitution, to the invigorating mountain aii', and to the simple 
food he takes — lacking all spices and stimulants — much more than 
to the medicine man and his simples. 


Having devoted the previous chapter to a fairly comprehensive 
survey of aboriginal beliefs concerning disease and its treatment, we 
will now give our attention to a most commanding figure in Cherokee 
hfe; a figure not only dominating the community in cases of disease 
and death but exercising its influence in almost all aspects of every- 
day life — the medicine man. (PI. 8, a.) 

Medicine men do not have special names, nor are they grouped in 
any society. Although they are sometimes referred to as aoa^'ngwi'ski, 


plur. Dt*'Da'nowt'sld ("he cures anyone"; "he cures people") it is 
more customary to call them by a name which is more discriminating 
and descriptive of tlie specialty to which the medicine man referred 
to devoted himself. 

The overwhelming majority of the practitioners are men; sporadi- 
cally there is yet a medicine woman to be fomid, but there are indi- 
cations that lead us to beheve that formerly there were far more of 
them than is now the case. An informant, wlien asked to account 
for the fact that there were so few female disease curers, as compared 
to males, told me that it was "because women do not take so much 
interest in it (i. e., in the study of plants, of the formulas, etc.) as 
men do." 

Apart from midwives (see p. 122) there are now only two medicine 
women worth speaking of — an old person of about 80 years old, 
called aGv'ya (i.e., "it is being taken out of the liquid ") and se"'hye"'ni 
(Sally-Annie?), the wife of Og. (PL 8, b.) 

A couple of the regular midwives will also occasionally go in for 
some cuiing of ailments that do not quite fall within their compe- 
tence, but this is not usual. 

If a woman practices at all she does not hmit herself to patients 
of her own sex, nor to any set diseases; nor is the treatment by her 
of any ailments, even in male patients, considered improper. She 
exercises her profession on a par with her male congeners, enjoys tlie 
same rights, and if her knowledge and her skill justifies it, she may 
in time be lield in the same reputation as one of the leading members 
of the faculty. 

As will be seen again and again in these pages, the medicine men 
arc the staunchest supporters of aboriginal faith, lore and custom, 
and with the disintegration of Cherokee material culture and social 
organization tlie medicine man has obtained a position of leadership 
which in many instances practically amounts to that of political head 
in another tribe. 

Different Classes 

However much the proverbial tooth of time has gnawed at Cherokee 
organization and tradition, it is still possible to find in the present 
body of medicine men traces of a differentiation wliich must have 
existed to an even greater extent at a more remote period. 

It might as well be stressed right away that throughout this paper 
the term "medicine man" is used to cover a rather broad concept; 
it is used without distinction as to sex, and refers not only to those 
members of the tribe that treat the sick and cure diseases, but also to 
those that might be called "priests," "magicians," "di\nnators," etc. 

A short discussion of these several varieties follows now, together 
wath the names given to these practitioners and the practices they 



n, Ts., THE Oldest of the Medicine Men 

6, st-'liyf'ni, a mediciue womau 



(/, Og., two Days Before he Died 

h. The Corpse is put Down on Wooden Boards 


specialize in. I want to warn, however, against thinking of tliis divi- 
sion as quite so rigid as it might appear to be at first: one individual 
may, at the same time, be a disease curcr and a rain maker; or a 
disease curer and a divinator; or a divinator and an incantator; etc. 

Dt'^Da'ngwt'ski, he cures them (indef. ; habit.); a curer. 

This name, as already stated (p. 84), is given first to any person 
belonging to any of the several groups here discussed, and might 
therefore be considered as an equivalent of the term "medicine 
man" as used in this paper. 

It is, however, only by a generalization that it has come to be be- 
stowed also on such people as priests and incantators, as its meaning 
clearly shows that it must originally have been used to refer to dis- 
ease curers only. 

These are the people, men or women, that are called upon in cases 
of sickness to diagnose the nature of the disease, prescribe treatment, 
the injunctions and the restrictions, collect the plants and weeds, or 
whatever other kind of materia medica is to effect the cure. 

Usually they proclaim to be proficient in all ailments, whatever 
their nature, but in some cases an individual may acquire quite a 
reputation for his skill in treating some particular disease. There 
was hardl}^ any such case during my stay with the tribe but the 
names of two medicine men, lately deceased, were still fresh in 
everyone's memory— one, Wil., the writer of Ms. II (see p. 9) 
having been held in high esteem on account of his successful treat- 
ment of Du"le"'dzi (scrofula), and another, tsanu*'si (Leech), owing 
his reputation chiefly to bis skill in curing unak'o'N!^ yDmyo't'eva 
(swollen testicles). 

There is one man now, 3^o"'nuGQ''°ski (bear coming out of the 
water) (see p. 136 and pi. 10, 6), who might in a way be called a 
specialist, in that he only attends to cutaneous wounds, but this, I 
found, was merelj^ due to the fact that he had never been able to 
acquire any further knowledge. 

Apart from exercising the profession of disease curer this class of 
medicine men will often also take patients to the river; they almost 
invariably perform this rite for their own family, instead of paying 
a regular priest to do it; they moreover generally claim some di^dna- 
tory knowledge. These two ciualifications, however, usually pertain 
to the domain of the "priest". 

This class is usually calleid ama''yi Dt'-Dadz5°.stf'sGi, he takes 
them (indef.) to, and brings them back' from, the water. 

The medicine men belonging to this class usually speciaHze in the 
ritual which consists in taking a client, not necessarily a sick person, 
to the river or the stream, and there reciting a prayer, conjuration, 
or incantation for the benefit of the client; for the latter's success in 
tt).e ball game, in love, in hunting, for bis long Hfe, for his personal 


protortion against disease and witchcraft, etc.; to bring about the 
happ3^ delivery of a pregnant woman, etc. 

The specialty which is most often combined with the one just 
described is that of "di\inator" (sec infra); more rarely they also 
claim to be able to command the winds and storms, to cause rain, 
etc. (see p. 152). 

aDD^'nt'ski', he examines and conjures (hab.). 

This is the name given to the medicine men that are reputed to 
foretell future events, to know where hidden things are, how an ab- 
sent person is getting on, etc., by means of various divinatorj'- pro- 
ceedings and paraphernalia, as, e. g., the beads, aDe-'l5°, also S9ntkt'a, 
the brown stone, n5°'ya wo'"DtGe'°', several kinds of grass, the fire, etc. 

The name implies not merely examining to find, or to find out the 
condition of a given object or person, but rather examining how a 
tiling is, and influencing it by occult power to become as we would 
have it. It refers, therefore, especially to the ceremony perfonned 
by a priest, by means of which he tries to find out who our enemy 
or oiir rival is, and whether we are going to succeed against him; 
whether our team is going to win or lose in the ball game; whether 
the woman wiiose favors we crave is well or ill disposed toward us; 
whether w^e will get the better of a rival in a love affair; whether a 
relative who is very ill will live or die, etc. 

At the same time as he "works" to get an answer he influences 
the e^'il thing or person against which he is acting, and strives to 
bring about an evolution into the matter, favoralile to Ms client. 
The terra "evolution" is pecuharly apt, for usually the proceeding 
is repeated four or seven times in succession, the pattern being that 
the first couple of times the chances for the client look pretty scant, 
but as the experiment is tried over again, and more cloth is put down, 
the medicine man and his patron gradually get the better of their 

It frequently happens that in certain diseases, where the cause is 
very occult and hidden (even to the Cherokee mind), a divinator is 
called upon to assist the disease curer proper with his all-revealing 
art. Then the part of the work incumbent upon the former is first 
to "examine," usually with the beads, to find out which particular 
medicine man of the tribe is the one who will be able to cure the 
patient. Afterw^ards, while the "discovered" doctor is treating the 
patient, the services of the divinator are stiU required every day to 
find out, again by examining with the beads, wiiether the patient is 
progressing satisfactorily, and recovering, or whether no headway 
is being made. The facts here succinctly sketched are well brought 
out in the "Typical curing procedure," described by W. (p. 67). 

About divination proper, there is yet a good deal to be said; but 
it has been thought that the notes relating to it; and not specifically 


Olbkechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 87 

dealing with medicine or disease, had better be withhold to introduce 
Ms. II, which contains several divinatory formulas, whereas not one 
formula of this class occurs in the Ay. Ms. 

The medicine men, claiming as theirs the specialty of rainmaking, 
driving off storms, etc., are on the verge of extinction. The formulas 
used in their ceremonies are equally scanty. Tlie Ay. manuscript 
does not contain a single specimen of them. There are some, how- 
ever, in Mss. II and III, and since the matter does not pertain 
directly to the subject discussed in this paper, it is deemed advisable 
to go into details about it in its proper place. 

Ga'^ht'aDtn9"'Da"ne!a', she makes it (i. e., the baby) jump down 
for lior (the parturiens). 

This is the way in which a midwife is generally referred to. Since 
fonnerly there was an injunction that a parturient woman must be 
assisted by four female attendants, all the women are more or less 
conversant with the help to be tendered to mother and infant. 

Some of them, however, perhaps a daughter of a medicine man or 
a woman who has married one, become m.ore proficient in the matter, 
and extend their knowledge so as to be able to attend to complications 
and to prenatal and puerperal troubles; they may gradually come to 
be looked upon as regular medicine woftien, in which case, as already 
described (see p. 84), they will also treat ailments of different nature. 

One of these women is usually preferred to a male doctor to assist 
at partus and to supervise and direct the other women attendants. 

O. (pi. 12, b) and Je. (pi. 12, a) were the leading midvvives at Big 
Cove during our stay there, se-hyfni (pi. 8, b) and my informant, W.'s 
wife, also enjoying quite an enviable reputation. 

Df'Dane"'s8Gf'ski, he kills people by witchcraft (hab.). 

This name, which can not be sufficiently analyzed — the stem may 
have connection with -yZ-ne's- "to droop"; there is, however, no 
causative element in the expression — is given to the medicine man who 
has attained the summit of occult power: he can kill a person by 
reciting an incantation against him, and thus "spoiling his saliva" or 
"making his soul dispirited." This is also done by obtaining stealth- 
ily some saliva of the victim and burning it, by shooting invisible 
arrowheads, sharp sticks, or pebbles into his body, even by stealing 
his soul. When they exert their powers in this way their activity is 
hardl}^ different from that of witches. (See p. 129.) 

As a rule they only harm people when asked and hired to do so by 
the victhn's enemies. The ceremony is usually performed near the 
river, which accounts for the name ama"'yi Df'Dadzo^.stf'sGi (see 
p. 85) also occasionally being bestowed on these medicine men, but 
everybody feels that there is a black abyss between their activity and 
their formulas and those of the "priest." 


When a medicine man has attained an advanced age and has a 
great reputation the laity often ascribe to him the powers of a Df'na- 
ne"'s9Gt''ski. To have this title conferred upon oneself is not exactly 
an honor, as it ascribes to the one to whom it is given not only the 
highest professional skill and occult power but also a rather jealous, 
fretful, and vindictive disposition. Yet a medicine man will not pro- 
test against such rumors circulating about him, nor Nvill he do any- 
thing to hush them, as most of them do not mind being considered 
more powerful than they really are, even if it veneers them with a 
tinge of witchcraft. 

It even happens that a self-sufficient medicine man appropriates 
and assumes the title, so as to make his influence the stronger, and to 
force his enemies, professional and others, to fear if not to respect 
him. W. told me that Ay. asserted himself to be a Df'Dane*'s9Gf'ski, 
but W. did not believe it. To do justice to Ay.'s memory, though, it 
is only fair to state that I often had the feeling that W. never liked him 
and was jealous of the high esteem in which Ay. was miiversally held. 

Finally, there are several instances of a medicine man, who was an 
imposing and striking personality during his lifetime, being "canon- 
ized " a Dt"'Dane-'s8Gf'sld after his death. All sorts of rumors start 
circulating about his marvelous powers, the wonderful cures he ef- 
fected, a journey of his during his lifetime to the Ghost Land, his 
prophesying his death seven days before it happened, his possessing 
the i;lo'''suDo° stone, etc. Before many years elapse his memory is 
recalled with the same awe and is embroidered with the same apocry- 
phal and legendary details as that of a King Arthur or a Napoleon. 

Such are, e. g., a woman, o'ltot-'ni, who died about 30 j^ears ago, 
about 95 years old, and an old medicine man Ga^lu*'y'sti' (Ax), who 
died about 15 years ago.^^ 

Scope of Knowledge 

The brighter of the medicine men may truly be said to be walking 
encyclopediae as far as their knowledge of aboriginal culture is con- 

Not only do they know all about disease and curing methods but 
they are also invariably very competent botanists and naturalists. 
Such outstanding men among them as Og. and W., and doubtless also 
Ay., Da'kwaDt'*i (Catawba killer), and Ayo'^sta (she spoils is), who 
worked with Mr. Mooney, know at least 150 to 200 different plants, 
with all their peculiarities, their habitat, their time and period of 
blossoming, their properties and the lore pertaining to them. 

They are also the curators of the myths and stories, one of them as 
a rule knowing more about them than four or five other members of 
the tribe put together. 

^2 It has been possible to obtain the written formulas of the latter. 

Ol°brechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 89 

Having a knowledge of myths and stories in a primitive community 
implies being conversant ^\ith tribal liistory, legendary and fictional 
as well as actual and real, and some of the medicine men have even 
incorporated short historical notes in their daybooks containing their 

As far as aboriginal religion is concerned, again we find the medicine 
men — often exercising the profession of priest at the same time as 
that of disease curer — remaining true to beliefs and traditions which 
the community at large is gradually losing, or exchanging against a 
slight and superficial veneer of Baptist or Methodist Christianity. 

But not only do the medicine men excel in the higher intellectual, 
idealistic pursuits, such as those above named, but also as far as 
material culture is concerned they usually rate a good deal higher than 
even an intelligent layman. Nobody knows so much about fish 
traps and the way to build them and the wood to be used by preference ; 
none knows more about the best periods for hunting different kinds of 
game, or all the artifices used to decoy them; nor can anybody make 
rattles, or wooden masks, or feather wands better than they can. 

All this knowledge, however, is far from codified. I have often 
made a point of it to try and find out in how far it was systematized, 
or as we would call it, rationally ordered in their minds. This has 
always brought very disappointing though interesting results. 

Such a medicine man who was universally acknowledged as being 
the one "who knew most," as Og. was, when asked to write down all 
the different diseases he knew, and when given five days to think it 
over, managed to find only 38 more or less different ones. 

Another one, when asked to enimierate them offhand, could not 
get past a dozen, this in spite of the fact that both of them must have 
known upward of a hundred, since a compilation made by me from 
oral information obtained from several individuals, and gleaned from 
three manuscripts, the Ay., Ms. II, and Ms. Ill, revealed that som.e 
230 different ^^ diseases were known. 

The same remarks hold for their botanical knowledge, and could 
even be made to apply to their knowledge of religion and mythology. 
One prominent medicine man, and at the same time the most promi- 
nent priest, T., was very anxious toward the end of my stay to act as 
informant, but was withheld by the fear that he would not be able to 
tell me anything of interest, as "he did not know much." When I 
had managed to convince him that anything he told me would be 
interesting, he came and stayed a week, telling me about fifty stories, 
and giving me very valuable information on sundry subjects. 

Continuing an experiment along the same lines with another medi- 
cine man, this time \\dth reference to the religion, afterlife, the spirits 
he invoked in the formulas, I could not get him by this method to tell 

^ "Different" from a Cherokee point of view. 


me 5 per cent of what he knew on this score; ultimately I extracted 
all he knew — and a bulky lot it was — by indirect and roundabout 

Even a hasty pei-usal of the disease names (cf. the texts) and of the 
curinj^: methods (see p. 60) will soon sliow that their anatomical knowl- 
edge is very scanty. It has been said tliat people living in primitive 
communities, especially those who have to rely on hunting for their 
sustenance, manage to derive pretty soimd and tolerably accurate 
ideas about the structure and function of internal organs from analogy 
of the anatomy of lolled and dressed animals. 

This, however, does not follow. The hunter who cuts up the game 
in the forest, to bring home the better morsels, is not engrossed in 
anatomical speculation, and his wdfe who disembowels the rabbit or 
the groimdhog is too ajixious to have the meat bar])ecuing before the 
fire to be able to afford the time for scientific observation. 

Even a people who practiced to such a considerable degree the 
dissecting of corpses for embalmmg purposes as the Egyptians are 
known to have long remained sadly ignorant of any anatomical 
knowledge worthy of such a name; yet they had the advantage of 
laboratory work all the time. 

A medicine man who could write, and whom I asked to draw "the 
inside of a man" in an outline which I had sketched, put a dot about 
the throat, and said, "this is where our saliva is"^*; about the height 
of the sternum, a small circle, with a lozenge on either side of it, which 
he proclaimed to be the heart with the liver around it, and the kidneys ; 
he put the navel approximately in the right position, and drew a line 
above it which was to represent the diaphragm; having drawn another 
circle under the navel, which he pronounced to be the bowels, he laid 
down the pencil -with a skt'owo" nt'Ga-.o°' ("this is all there is to it") 
which sounded as if he were highly satisfied ^^'ith his feat. 

Arteries, sinews, and tendons are aU held to be one and the same 
thing; in fact, there is onl}^ one word to refer to any of these: 
tsu'waDv'no". Nothing seems to be known about the function of the 
blood . 

A final remark I want to make on this score is, that in spite of their 
vast amount of erudition, and, in some cases, of their superior intelli- 
gence, these old fellows do not seem to be any more methodical than 
their lay congeners. Although a call is made on them three or four 
times a week, they mil persist in walking, or rather, climbing miles 
and miles in the mountains each time, hunting for the herbs and roots 
which they need for their prescriptions, instead of transplanting a 
specimen near their own cabin, and laying out a garden of "officinal 
plants" such as Charlemagne ordered the medieval monks to do. 

" See p. 15. 


A poor attempt in this direction is being made by the more progres- 
sive of the medicine men, whom 1 found cultivating the following 
medicinal plants: 

tso*'laGay9"'°li, Nicotiana rustica L., wild tobacco. 

a*''skwan€-'Di)°, Veratrum viride Ait., American white hellebore; 
Indian poke. 

tso*'hyy"sti Gf'GaGe""' a*'dzt'l5°'ski, Lobelia cardinalis L., cardinal 

Di;nu*'na, Glycine apios L. 

a't'tse"i, Almis rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng., smooth alder. 

Gana"'Ga tsy'nt'ono"', Scirpus validus Vahl, great bulrush. 

It is equally rare to find medicine men collecting and dr3dng roots or 
other parts of shnples for use in sudden emergencies. Only three 
items so treated have come to my attention: Powder (snufF) of the 
dried leaves of tso*'laGay9-'°li, Nicotiana rustica L., wild tobacco, and 
the root of o*'Dalioa'''li, Panax trijolium L., dwarf ginseng, and finally 
the roots needed for prenatal and puerperal care, and that can not be 
located in wintertime. 

Social Status 

Even if we no longer find any traces of the individual medicine man 
or of a body of them exercising any such politic influence as has been 
ascribed to the a'nd'ti;ta"ni (see p. 97), there is no doubt but that the 
position of the medicine man must at one time have been one of 
considerable importance in the tribe. 

Such hints as Adair's statement (p. 240) that Priber, forming the 
Cherokee "into a nominal republican government, crowned their old 
Archimagus emperor," seem to indicate that the political influence 
of the medicine men, or at any rate of the chief medicine man, was 
very considerable at that time. 

In many of the tales relating to the war exploits of the Cherokee 
against the neighboring tribes it is often explicitly stated that a 
medicine man accompanies the party, and the success of the expedition 
often depends more on his skill in divination and conjuring than on the 
prowess and cunning of the warriors. This also must undoubtedly 
have resulted in strengthening their position socially, as his orders 
were of greater import than those of the actual leader of the party. 

Even now, when two settlements are training for the ball game, a 
contest which \\-ith the Cherokee is as much of a social as of a sportive 
nature, the medicine man is exercising his influence and his per- 
sonality in such a way that the whole affair takes the aspect of a 
contest between the occult power of the two medicine men conjuring 
for the teams rather than that of a match between two rival teams of 

It is he, the medicine man, not the chief of the settlement, who 
addresses the team before they leave home to meet their opponents. 


It is he who for the last few days has been "worldng to spoil the 
strength" and the magic power of the medicine man who is conjm-ing 
for the rival team. And the victory or defeat is laid at the door of 
the medicine man rather than that the players themselves are con- 
gratulated or scorned for it. 

To have an adequate idea of the social status of the medicine man 
we should bear in mind that in his person we find cumulated such 
])rofessions and pursuits which in our society would correspond to 
those of the clergy, the educators, the philosophers and the historians, 
the members of the medical profession in its widest sense, i. e., 
physicians, surgeons, and chemists; and finally, to a certain degree, 
even to those of the politicians and of the press. 

His constant journeys to and fro, curing the sick, or trj^ng to do so, 
gatheiing simples, calling on former patrons; on the other hand, 
his constantly being called upon by the people to assist them in their 
most intimate needs — a worried man asking him to make his wife's 
mind forget her former sweethearts, a spiteful woman demanding of 
him that he spoil the mind of a man she hates, all this contributes 
immensely toward making him the best informed person about, 
and nothing happens within a few miles' radius without his being 
aware of it. 

Is it then to be wondered at that a man with such wide connections, 
walking in and out of so many homes, stajdng often with a family for 
days at a time, must be a most omniscient and influential individual? 

Yet the medicine man should not be vainglorious about his status. 
All the members of the profession I have iaiown always made a point 
of declaring, when asked, that they did not feel proud or haughty 
toward the people; they should not, because, they emphatically 
declared, the}^ held their power and knowledge from i;n€*'tlano"j, 
who had given it to them that they might help the people. 

This conception is undoubtedly influenced by modern Christian 
views, for although une'^tlano'^i is a powerful Cherokee deity (see 
p. 20), nowhere in the rest of tribal lore is he referred to as ever having 
granted any such gift as curing disease or the power of dispensing 
medicine to the people. I feel sure, therefore, that the statement 
here made by the medicine men refers to the Christianized yne'Hlano'M, 
i. e., God, the Creator. 

Whatever the medicine men may say with regard to this, I have 
often found evidence that their statements are not always corrobo- 
rated by their actions; they do get a streak of vanity and conceit now 
and again, and do consider themselves as far more interesting and 
clever indi^niduals than the common mortals. This, however, rarely 
manifests itself outwardly; they plant their corn and ply the hoe as 
everybod}^ else, and do not betray by any article of dress or ornament 
either their profession or its importance. If this may be called an}'^ 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 93 

distinctive trait at all, I found most of them rather less slovenly 
dressed than the lay members of the tribe. Occasionally, one of 
them will cling to some archaic bit of garment or other, such as a pair 
of moccasins, a cloth turban, etc. 

As to the attitude of the people toward the medicine men, this wdll 
to a considerable extent depend on the character of the latter. As a 
rule they are not feared, unless they profess to be, or are reputed to 
])e r)f'Dan€''s8Gt-'ski (see p. 87), these being shunned and avoided as 
far as possible. 

The esteem in which the others are held depends chiefly on their 
professional sldll, and on their social intercourse. Such medicine 
men as yo*'no° Ga^le-'ci ("the bear, he is climbing") who was Del.'s 
father, and Og. and W.'s brother, and who died about a score of years 
ago, actually managed to be respected and loved by his people, as in 
our villages an old clergyman or a devoted physician might be. Og. 
himself was held in no smaller consideration. But there are others I 
know who are looked upon with very different feelings and whose 
services would be called upon only in cases of utmost emergency. 

Professional Ethics 

Under this caption there are to be discussed mainly two aspects of 
the medicine men's profession — their sincerity, and what miglit be 
called "their desire to serve." 

As to the former, I found them as a whole convinced of what they 
profess and teach. They practice fervently what they believe and 
treat themselves and the members of their own family by the same 
methods and means as they do their patients. 

As far as sleight of hand is concerned, there are after all only four 
ceremonies where tliis is possible: When examining with the beads, 
when divining mth the browTi rock, when sucldng, when scratching 
^nth the snake tooth. 

In the first and in the last case I hardly think that the slight 
movements of the beads (see p. 132) or of the snake tooth ^^ (see p. 70) 
should be explained by legerdemain. The tension under which the 
medicine man is laboring, together with a considerable dose of auto- 
suggestion, are doubtlessly sufficient to bring about the "manifesta- 
tions of life" they pretend to feel. 

As for the divination with the bro\sTi rock, matters seem to be 
different. This mode of divination is usually resorted to when an 
object, an animal, or even a person has been lost. A small fragment 
(about the size of a thimble) of wo-ni' (i. e., "reddish-brown"), 
hematite, is tied to a thread or a bit of yarn about 30 centimeters 

^ The medicine man pretends that the snake tooth, prior to being scratched 
with, "becomes alive," as is evinced l)y its twitching and trembling between the 
fingers of the practitioner. 


long. The free end of the twine is held between the thumb and 
index finger of the right hand, while the left hand, with the fingers 
stretched out, is placed over the right, ostensibly in a free, easy 
manner, and without any particular purpose, but actually to shield the 
function of the middle finger of the right hand, which is to stealthily 
transmit to the dangling stone its "occult" metion. The direction in 
which the stone starts swinging is the one in which the search is to be start- 
ed. By this method often things are found, the whereabouts of wliich 
are not so completely unknown to the medicine man as he pretends. 

A procedure where prestidigitation is hkewdse often met with is 
when the medicine man sucks the swollen part of a patient's body, 
and after much exertion usually succeeds in spitting out "the disease," 
viz, a pebble, an insect, etc., objects, of course, which he held hidden 
in his cheek before the performance began. I know of a case where 
Og., as a doctor, and as a man as honest a fellow as you could care to 
meet, produced a worm after having sucked the jaw of a man suffering 
with toothache. 

Needless to say, just as in any other communities and as in every 
other professional group, there are also among the Cherokee medicine 
men individual dift'erences as far as professional ethics are concerned. 
One of them told me the following story which throws some light on his 
methods of keeping up his reputation : 

He once went to Yellowhill (c'law^o-'ni) and on the way met an 
acquaintance who told him that he had built a fish trap but could 
not manage to catch more than two or three fish a day. He asked the 
medicine man if he did not know a formula to catch fish. 

This cunning fellow said "he was sorry, he knew no such formula ; 
as a matter of fact he would very much like to get one himself."^'' 
Anyhow the man insisted that the medicine man come to liis house, 
look at the trap, and spend the night at his house. 

Next morning, before breakfast, the owner of the trap went down 
to the river and came back with a whole washtub full of fish. There 
must have been more than a hundred of them; and he had to go back 
again, and fetch a second washtub full. He didn't doubt for an instant 
that the medicine man had recited a formula, and said so. The 
medicine man just smiled a mysterious grin, and let liim continue in 
liis belief. 

(The real reason of tliis "prodigious catch" was, the branch by 
which the fish usually passed had been poisoned by a sawmill near by, 
letting its sawdust loose in it. This had made the fish come by another 
branch of the river, the one on wliich the trap had been set.) 

Frequently, after having consulted the spirits by means of the fire 
or of the beads divination, the medicine man wall foretell or prophesy 

^^ This in spite of the fact that he did know at least three or four fishing con- 
jurations. — F. M. O. 


events that are to happen four or seven days afterwards, or within 
four or seven days. I am quite convinced that they honestly behevo 
themselves in what they forecast in this manner, e. g., that the 
patron's enemy, against whom the medicine man had been asked to 
conjure, will die within seven days; or that a disease has been sent by 
a plotter, etc. 

But it should be borne in mind that four or seven days (or rather 
four or seven "nights passed") is a ritual expression which may 
just as well mean the same number of years, so that the margin of 
error becomes very elastic. Adding to wliich such exegetical com- 
modities at the command of the Cherokee medicine man as the 
superior magic power of the opponent, the possible neglect of the 
medicine man's patron to observe the necessary taboos, and all the 
difhculties raised by skeptics are explained away. 

"A desire to serve." Such might well be the slogan of the pro- 
fession, summing up its attitude toward the sick and the disabled. 

There are, of course, some less worthy members who are only too 
anxious to convince the suffering party that a treatment of seven days 
would be more advantageous than one of four, tliinking at the same 
time of the greater profit in cloth and beads wiiich the former will 
bring him. 

But it deserves emphasis, on the other hand, that any medicine 
man called upon is willing and ready to undertake the curing of a 
patient who is utterly destitute; although he quite well knows that he 
is to expect no reward for his troubles, he wall dispense to him the same 
care, and will exert the same amount of skill to relieve him, as he would 
do for the benefit of a well-to-do member of the tribe. 

Nor does a personal enemy of a medicine man call on his aid in vain, 
in his hour of need. Two medicine men told me that their mother, 
from whom they had inherited a great deal of their knowledge, had 
told them before she died that they should never make use of their 
knowledge to harm their enemies; they should never take vengeance 
of a first slight or insult, nor of a second; but if they had been abused 
three times (see p. 100) by the same person, then they might react by 
occult means against him. Should this enemy become ill, however, 
and call for their help, they should not refuse it, but should extend to 
him the benefit of their skill and knowledge with the same good will 
as if he were their best friend. 

The Medicine Man's Fee 

There is not much left to be added to James Mooney's excellent 
account of this in his SFC, pages 337-339. 

The only main point left at issue, viz, the etymology of the word, 
has been subjected to a further investigation, with the following 
7548°— 32 8 


results: uGi', the technical name for what we could call the 
doctor's fee or honorarium, does not seem to be etymologically con- 
nected with the verb \/-Gt'- "to eat something solid" ("I eat it, sol,": 
tsi'Gt'a') but ^\•ith the rather similar sounding vZ-of-, "to take some- 
thing" ("I take it": tsi'of.a'). 

The literal and original meaning of uct'sto.ti' would thus seem 
to be "for him to take it with " (v- 3d sgl. objective pronominal prefix; 
-Gi- (stem); -st-i- causative-instrumental (cf. aycdsti "knife"; lit. 
"something to cut with," stem -vZ-yed-); -ot- instrumental sufHx. 

The medicine men themselves have now lost this original meaning 
of the word, and when questioned about it usually render its mean- 
ing as "reward"; they all emphatically deny that the yGt'stD.ti' is 
the medicine man's pay; and this is tiiie in so far that the value of 
it, e. g., the quantity or the quality of the cloth, is no factor in the 
cure. But they all agree that the uGt'sto.ti' is an indispensable 
prerequisite to effect the cure. 

By some expressions found in the formulas some more light is 
thrown on the matter. A medicine man, going out to gather simples 
(see p. 150), recites a formula in one of the first expressions of which 
he says: "With the white cloth I have come to take away the medicine" 

a'N'gwa'Gi vne'cb^ UQ-^^wo'Vi' tstGt'sto.t'a'nfGa' 

cloth white medicine I have come to take it away with 

A formula for "when the ghosts have changed their food," in 
Ms. II, starts as follows: "Now then! Ha, qmckly thou hast come 
to listen, thou red Otter, thou art staying in the Sun Land . . . Now 
thou hast come to rest on the wliite cloth, and wilt pull the disease 
away with it." 

These two references go a long way toward proving that originally 
the meaning of the expression here discussed must have been either — 

(1) That which is used by him (the medicine man) to take, to 
gather the medicine with (see p. 55), or else 

(2) That which is used by (the curing spirit) to take it (i. e., the 
disease) away with. 

I am inclined to consider the last version as the more probable, 
as there is still other evidence, yet to be published, which corroborates 
this feeling. 

It is likely that in time, since the medicine man always took the 
i^Gi'sto.ti' away as his fee, the true meaning of the word got lost, 
and that it acquired that of "reward." Only after this semantic 
development, I think, did the use of other articles than buckskin 
become possible as uGt'sto.ti^ such as (flint) knives, moccasins, etc., 
since these can be considered as reward, but could hardly be used to 
be "spread out for the curing spirit to put his feet on, to pull the 
disease away with." 


Cloth (since buckskin is no lon^jcr available) and beads are still now 
the most usual articles used as "fee." The official measure of cloth 
for one treatment is 1 yard, but this measure is to be taken "cum 
grano salis." i;'tsflo*'D'3" which may mean "a .yard," "a mile," 
"a gallon," literally means "it has been measured" (\/-tsfl-) and as 
used in the fonnulas is a term which is as vague as a period of four 
or seven days (see p. 95), or as a Dawo'Mo"' (an "overhand"), which 
may mean a length from 25 centimeters to almost a meter. 

The theoretical "yard of cloth" is often a gaudy handkerchief or 
a bit of rag 25 centimeters square. 

It has not been possible to ascertain which rule prevails as to when 
cloth is used and when it is not. AVith some of the formulas this is 
mentioned in the directions, and although the medicine men generally 
know in which cases cloth is a necessary prerequisite, he is unable to 
state any definite rule. There are some ceremonies where cloth is 
invariably used : In the treatment of those ailments where the medicine 
man has had to go and gather medicine; in all the kinds of Dalo*'ni 
diseases; in all divination ceremonies with the beads; it also seems 
an indispensable item in all love attraction and incantation cere- 

Apart from cloth, the "fee" may be paid in garments, or in minor 
articles of dress and adornment, as neckerchiefs and handkerchiefs, a 
hat, a tie, etc. For the treatment of a menstruating woman it is 
invariably the undergarment of the patient. Such articles as knives 
or other utensils are but seldom given as "reward." 

A custom which may be an innovation is to present the medicine 
man with eatables, such as meat, lard, salt, chewing tobacco, etc., 
and in very rare cases even with a nickel or a quarter coin. Some 
people to keep on good terms yrith. a medicine man may offer him a 
present (any of the articles just mentioned) from time to time, a 
custom which sounds amusingly reminiscent of our medical insurance. 

Finally, I should mention another method of partially pajTing the 
medicine man, viz, to have him staying as a guest at the house 
of the patient for two to three weeks. This is especially frequent 
with the more highly reputed medicine men, who are asked to go 
and treat patients in distant settlements. 

Mutual Relations 

There is no Cherokee living who remembers anything about any 
medicine men's society, and it is safe to regard the probability of there 
ever ha\ang existed such an organization with due caution and 

James Mooney (Myths, pp. 392-393) himself was very careful not 
to be too positive, when trjang to identify the a'nikuta"ni (clan?) as 
a society of this description; nothing has been collected, either by 


Mooney or by myself, which coiild in any way substantiate or tlirow 
any hght on the int<^rcsting but vaguo details given by Adair (p. 240), 
Haywood (p. 266), MacGowan (p. 139), or Domenech (Vol. II, p. 392). 

It must therefore remain an open question whether the Cherokee 
medicine men were ever organized in a professional body in the past. 
However that jnay have been, at present there is no such institution, 
and every medicine man attends to his own pm-suits. 

Occasionally two medicine men may work in collaboration, one 
taking care of the treatment and the curing, the other devoting him- 
self to the divination proceedings. Or again, they may call on each 
other's knowledge in some cases where an individual medicine man's 
professional accomplishments may fall short, but there is nothing 
organized or laid down in this respect. 

Only rarely are two medicine men employed simultaneously for the 
actual curing, and if this shoidd be the case a second one is never 
engaged without the first one knowing and approving of it. 

It happens, however, that if a practitioner has worked on a case 
without obtaining any residts, he is dropped altogether, and another 
medicine man is called in to see what he can do in the matter. The 
one thus ousted does not resent this in the least and does not consider 
this act an insult to his knowledge; on the contrary, ho will often 
himself take the initiative, and if he fails to restore his patient to 
health in a reasonable time, ^^ill tell the sick man's relatives that evi- 
dently he is not the one who is to effect the cure and will examine with 
the beads, to find out which member of the profession will be successful 
in the matter. (See p. 68.) 

If a medicine man becomes iU himself he only calls in the aid of a 
colleague if circumstances should make this course imperative, e. g., 
if he is too weak to go and gather himself the simples needed, or if the 
treatment calls for certain manipulations which he could not very well 
perform on his own person, such as sucking wdth the horn, blowing 
medicine on the crown of the head, etc. 

Whenever he is taken ill with an aye'-ltGD-'ci disease (see p. 33) he 
invariably calls in the aid of a professional friend, and this stands to 
reason; for since a rival medicine man or an enemy has managed 
to get the better of him, this proves that the victim's power is too 
weak to grapple with his opponent's, and therefore the alliance of a 
powerfid colleague is necessary to come out of the contest victorious. 

There are medicine men who are always willing to cooperate with 
others when invited to do so; always willing to obhge with information 
and advice as to diagnosis, simples to be used, and the locality where 
these can be found, etc., and who even will volunteer the loan of a 
particular formula that has proved particularly efiicient in the cure of 
a given ailment. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 99 

But others are of a jealous and miserly nature and will pretend to 
be ignorant and but ill-informed wlien thej^ are asked for advice or 
counsel by a competitor. Yet I have not once heard of a case where 
one of these less obliging fellows purposely led an inquirer astray, or 
gave him information that might be deleterious to the patient under 
treatment. Nor has any case of ''dishonest competition" come to 
my knowledge. 

To combat the influence of the white doctor and his medicine, 
though, they ^\ill go to any pains, and use any means. 


There are still faint recollections of how the medicine men were 
initiated until three or four generations ago. The description given 
to James Mooney by John Ax (born about 1800) of the meetings of the 
"myth-keepers and priests" in the o*'si (Mooney, Myths, p. 230) 
contains a very interesting account of the initiation of new adepts 
more than a century ago. The o*'si is now but a dim memory of a 
hazy past and telling the myths is no longer the appanage of priests 
and elders; if 50 years ago the scratching and the "going to water" 
was still jokingly referred to, now it is no longer rem.embered that this 
rite was ever performed in this connection. 

At present if a man wants to become a medicine man he goes to one 
well versed in the lore and sldlled in the profession, informs him of his 
intention, and asks him if he is willing to teach him what he knows. 
The answer of the old man depends a good deal on the character of the 

If he is known as a lazy individual he stands little chance of being 
accepted as a candidate b}'- a conscientious medicine man, as he would 
be sure to neglect the care of his patients. 

Nor is he likely to be favorably received if he has a reputation for 
being quarrelsome and jealous, as in this case he might be too prone 
to abuse of his occult knowledge to harm the people. 

But even if the character of the candidate is As-ithout flaw or speck 
he is not sure to meet with an enthusiastic welcome at the hand of 
excTj medicine man, for some of these do not believe in propagating 
the sacred and medical lore too much, nor in diffusing it too widely, 
since according to those among them imbued \nth an idealistic out- 
look on the profession, the more of the lore is divulged, the less 
powerfid everj'- one of the adepts becomes; and again, according to 
others, rather more utilitarian in their views, because, the more 
practitioners, the less practice. 

So as not to make an inveterate enemy out of an applicant by 
turning him down, the medicine man "examines with the beads," to 
find out whether the candidate is hkely to make good in the profession; 


"whether he has a vocation for it," as we might say. If the bead 
representing the applicant moves briskly, and gives ample proofs of 
vitality, the divination is pronounced to be in his favor. If, on the 
contrary, it behaves in a sluggish, lazy way, or if it does not move at 
aU, he is dissuaded from taldng up the profession. 

But let us suppose that the professor in theology and medicine is 
willing to coach the student, then the terms and the tuition fee are 
discussed. He may tempt the vanity of his master by offering him 
a new overcoat, or a gun, or a trunk, or even a sum of money. 

If the candidate comes from a settlement a few miles distant, it 
may be necessary for him to come and board with his master; or if 
the latter is able and willing to spare the time he may go and stay 
with the applicant. There is no rule as to the duration of this stay; 
it depends solely on the extent of the subject matter to be covered, 
and on how quickly the candidate masters it. 

He may merely w^ant to know how to cure disease; or he may even 
only intend to specialize in the cure of two or three ailments. On 
the other hand, he may be so ambitious as to desire to know all about 
love conjuring, hunting and fishing formulas, and even about man- 
killing incantations and witchcraft. 

If he wants to know all this he usually leaves after 10 days or a fort- 
night and comes back for a similar period now and again, until he 
knows all his tutor can teach him. 

Whatever his intentions for later life and practice may be, he must 
start out by mastering all the lore about disease, curing methods, 
and simples. This is a preliminary course every beginner must go 
through, even if he intends to later make his specialty in a totally 
different field. (See p. 84.) 

But it was emphatically stressed by all informants that the very 
last formulas taught are those "with which to harm people," i. e., 
the incantations. The medicine men are very circimispect in hand- 
ing out this knowledge, and very few candidates attain this step 
during the first few years of their "studies." Irascible or hot- 
tempered individuals are barred from it, as already stated. "Before 
they let you have that kind (i. e., incantations) they examine you, 
and if they find that you are a bad character, that you 'get mad' 
easily, that you are jealous and spiteful, they do not let you have them. 
A bad character will use these (incantations) even if he is insulted 
but once, whereas we (considerate old fellows) always wait three 
times ^^ before we would work against an enemy to kill him." (W.) 

" See p. 95. It is probable that four Insults were the limit before white influ- 
ence made itself felt. When I asked W. (the only one of my informants who 
had had a partly white education) why it should be three times he said he thought 
it was "because Christ had been in the grave three days, and Jonah was for three 
da^s in the fish." 

oI-brIchts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 101 

Although the o''si has passed out of existence generations ago, 
even now the instruction is only imparted during the night. The 
medicine man and the candidate talk until morning, and then go 
to the river and bathe ritually, sprinkling water on their face, on the 
crown of their head, and on their breast, "where their soul is." This 
is done many nights in succession, whether the novice be staying 
with the medicine man or whether he walks in every night until he 
knows all his master is able or \\'illing to tell him. 

Before the instruction proper is started, however, the applicant 
has to drink a decoction to enable him to remember all he learns. 
With this end in view, he may take one or all of the following medi- 

A small cluster of leaves, rubbish, and refuse, such as is found 
occasionally floating on the surface of the water, must be fished out 
and examined. If it has any small insect, usually a spider, in it, it 
is cooked, insect and all, and the decoction is drunlc, fasting, for four 
or seven consecutive days; immediately after having drank it, the 
candidate must go to the river and vomit. 

Another much-extolled and highly esteemed medicine to obtain 
a never-failing memory is to drink the water found in the leaf of a 
pitcher plant: yvGwi'^la {Sarracenia purpurea L., sidesaddle flower, 
pitcher plant, huntsman's cup). 

These leaves, as is known, have the peculiar habit of keeping 
imprisoned anything that has fallen into them (the Cherokee say 
"anything that flies over them"), insects, spiders, small leaves, etc., 
and it is easy to see the principle of sympathy, according to which 
this plant is used in order to "keep the knowledge acquired imprisoned 
in the mind." 

This plant is also called tcsko'"y'k'Q:na''t'i "the successful (or 
never-failing) insect hunter," or wa'e''°la, possibly a dialectical vari- 
ant of yu'GWt'^la. 

The different kinds of vni'stJi)°.t'sti, all the varieties of "bur 
plants," are also used, separately or jointly, in a decoction and drunk 
by the candidate. As the burs stick and cling to anything that comes 
in contact vdth. them, they will also be of material assistance in keep- 
ing the acquired knowledge sticldng in the mind. 

The candidate has, moreover, to be more careful than ever not to 
eat any food prepared by a menstrual woman. (See p. 34.) A 
breach of this taboo is dangerous enough in everyday life and for an 
average individual; but for a medicine man, and even more so for a 
candidate medicine man who is in the act of acquiring his knowledge, 
it would mean a real calamity; not only would he forget all he knows, 
but he would be spoiled outright. 

In order to avert these disasters he must, therefore, whenever he 
stands in any danger of coming into contact with a woman in this 


condition or whenever touching any object that she may have used, 
chew either the inner bark of atsfrqi' {Betula lenta L. ; cherry birch; 
sweet birch; black birch), spitting the juice at regular intervals on the 
"place where his soul is," or even occasionally moistening his fingers 
and putting his saliva, under his clothes, on his breast. 

Also the root of Gane-'ldo° {Zisia aurea (L.) Koch; Golden Alex- 
ander) is chewed as a preventive. The name of this plant means "it 
is pregnant." This is no doubt the reason why it is used in this 
connection; on the other hand, the plant owes its name to the peculiar 
shape of its fruit. 

If then the candidate has used some or all of these potent means 
to make his hold on the knowledge acquired a permanent one, he ^vill 
soon be ready for the last and most important communication his 
master has to make him. Prior to this, however, he must repair to 
a secluded place in the mountains or in the forest, and there prepare 
a decoction of all the plants mentioned above, only this time they are 
to be boiled simultaneously,^^ and the decoction is taken at intervals 
all day long; no other food or diink whatsoever is to be taken imtil 

This is continued for four or seven days, according to the fervor 
and the intentions of the applicant: if he stays in the wilderness for 
four consecutive days and nights he ^\^lll be a skillful medicine man 
and a priest of high repute and capacity. But if he can stand the 
ordeal for seven days "he will be a most powerful wizard; he ^vill be 
able to fly in the air and to dive imder the ground." 

During this seclusion the solicitant has no dreams or visions that 
would seem to be specifically related to the ceremony, although this 
was undoubtedly the object of this four or seven days' fasting and 
contemplation until a few generations ago. 

Before the invention of the Sequoya syllabary the instruction of the 
candidate must of course have been purely oral, but the possibility of 
committing to paper their sacred and medicinal literature has un- 
doubtedly contributed as much to the survival of aboriginal refigion 
and science as to the propagation of the tracts and books of the 
American Bible Society and to the veneer of white culture. 

A medicine man may sell outright some of his written formulas to 
a candidate, but this is very rarely done, the usual course being that 
the latter be allowed to copy them. Even then a pretty high price 
is charged. Mooney records that Ay. told him that hunters would 
pay as much as $5 for a hunting song (SFC, p. 311), and W, told me 
that he once paid for being allowed to copy part of the formulas of 
Wil. an overcoat and a trunk (total value about $25), and that he sold 

*8 In olden times they also added some others, Og. told me, but he did not 
know which ones. 


them again, after having copied them, for a watch, a buckskin, and 
an overcoat. 

When taking this course of instruction particuhir stress is Laid on 
the explanatory remarks which should accompany each formula (see 
p. 158), and any ingredients, simples, and paraphernalia mentioned in 
these are also minutely described and explained by the tutor. This 
instruction is given in a trul}" Socratic manner, and as I found out 
myself, information is only dispensed so far as solicited. This is 
probably the reason why these medicine men are such fine informants, 
and why working with them is so profitable and remunerative; they 
have been trained in the technique of asking and giving information, 
and take so much interest in it, and are so visibly flattered by any one 
attaching so much importance to the smallest detail of their knowledge 
that once their initial reserve has been overcome they enjoy the work 
as much as the ethnologist himself. 

When the candidate has learned from his master as much as he 
wants to know — or, as is often the case, as much as the old man is 
willing to tell him— he leaves him, and if his cravmg for knowledge 
and instruction is not jet satisfied, he may go to a second medicine 
man, and try to persuade him to impart some of his knowledge. It 
often happens, how^ever, that the particular medicine man he turns to, 
after having completed his apprenticeship ^^dth the first one, feels 
slighted because he has not been given precedence and refuses to 
have anything to do vnth him. 

There is no official rite of recognition or of acceptance of a new 
medicine man. It is soon known that So-and-so is intending to be- 
come one; that he is being instructed by Old Man X; even while he 
is acquiring the art, he may be asked to give his advice in matters of 
sickness, he may be asked to go and collect some simples, and so 
graduall}^ he steps into the profession and the practice. It may soon 
be rumored about the settlement how successful he is in his treatment, 
and gradually he acquires the reputation of a skillful medicine man; 
in due course of time he may attain the honors of "pow^erful wizard." 

Once the medicine man possesses the knowledge and the power it 
assures him, there are a few things he has to be very careful about in 
order not to lose these attainments. 

First of all he must rigorously observe the taboo with regard to 
catamenial women. (See p. 34.) 

Nor should he ever attend a funeral, or take any active part in any, 
such as making the coffin, digging the grave, etc. 

Finally, he should on no account neglect, if one of his patients 
should die during treatment, to observe a rite of purification. As wUl 
be seen (p. 139), this purification is incumbent on every inhabitant of 
the settlement, but whereas wnth them the nonobservance at worst 


causes an illness, to the attendant medicine man it would mean the 
irretrievable loss of all power. 

There are fortunately several ways of averting this calamity : 

(1) All the rubbish that is found about the yard around the cabin 
is gathered into a heap and burned; sourwood, n9"'Do*Gwe*'ya (Oxy- 
dendrum arboreum (L.) DC.) twigs are boiled in a pot over this fire, 
and the hands arc washed in this decoction. 

(2) Wil. proceeded in the same way but used ka'na'sD""la° "wild 
parsnip" instead of sourwood. 

(3) Spencer Bird, an old medicine man, now dead, used to rely on 
the sole purifying power of water. The inforniant who told me this 
vaguely hinted at the probability of the water being some "special 
water," such as that scooped out of a stump ("stump water") or even 
out of the stump of a lightning-struck tree. 

Diffusion of Knowledge 

We have just seen how an outsider may become an adept and the 
methods used in imparting to him the sacred and scientific lore. 

But even between the medicine men and practitioners who have 
"graduated" years ago there is going on a constant exchange of 
formulas and explanations, a continual barter in hints and facts relat- 
ing to the profession. 

Every medicine man has either a notebook or a motley collection of 
miscellaneous papers of all sizes, colors, and descriptions, containing 
the formulas invariabl}'' written down in the Sequoya syllabary. 
Many of the medicine men refrain from writing down the "directions" 
in their books or papers, and do not write anj'^ caption to the formula, in 
order that, if by any chance the documents should be lost or stolen, 
the unlawful proprietor should be at a loss how to use them. The 
formulas will either want the prescriptions as to plants to be used, 
injunctions to be followed, the foods that are tabooed, etc., or else the 
title is lacking, with the result that it is well-nigh impossible to find 
out exactly against which disease the formula is to be used. 

If two medicine men exchange any information, one of them usually 
gives the other one as many formulas to copy as the latter is willing to 
impart to his colleague. Some formulas may be rated far more 
important than others, however; a good love conjuration will easily 
sell for as much as five or six curing prescriptions. In some cases, even 
among medicine men, the formulas may be sold for money, or such 
commodities as coats, watches, etc. (See p. 102.) 

In this way there is such an intense interchange of formulas and 
prescriptions going on that all the medicine men have a stock in trade 
which is fundamentally the same, only a member of the profession who 
specializes in a certain field, as in divination, love medicine, etc., has 
a totally different collection from the one who makes curing his prin-. 
cipal pursuit. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 105 

To some extent there is also a diffusion of the medicinal knowledge 
from the members of the profession to the laity, to outsiders who have 
no intention of ever becoming medicine men, but who may want a 
particidar formula or song because they need it so often that they can 
not be bothered to hire a medicine man to recite it for them on every 
occasion. They therefore ask a medicine man to sell them such-and- 
such a formula — say a hunting song or a love conjuration — which will 
put an end to their being dependent on the medicine man, for this 
emergency at any rate. 

Even to his best friend a medicine man will never give a fornmla,, 
excusing himself by saying that any information given free loses its 
power. Their motives seem to be less interested, when they state tliat- 
formulas should not be propagated too much anyway, since the more 
they are diffused the less powerful they become. (See p. 99.) 

As to the kind of formulas that are most frequently desired by lay- 
men and communicated to them by the members of the profession,, 
the reader is referred to the chapter on the Formulas (p. 144 et seq.).. 

Succession and Inheritance 

There is now no definite rule as to who becomes the successor of a. 
medicine man when he dies, and it is difficult to ascertain if ever such 
a rule existed. 

As we have seen, a great many individuals may inherit of a medicine 
man's knowledge during his lifetime. The problem of the inheritance 
of his medicinal and ritual writings must of course be a very modern 
one, since it could not antedate the invention of the syllabary by 
Sequo3^a in 1821. But even so, there may have prevailed a rule prior 
to this, regulating the inheritance of the paraphernalia and especially 
of the profession, of the office. Be that as it may, there is no trace in 
the present beliefs or traditions that elucidates this problem. 

At the death of a medicine man now, he is succeeded by any one 
of the members of his household who takes a sufficiently keen inter- 
est in the profession and "who is not too lazy to be continually on 
the road, visiting sick people, collecting medicine for them, etc." 

From what has been stated (see p. 99), it is evident that anybody 
who succeeds him must have been officially or unofficially initiated 
by him, since to an outsider even the most carefully written collec- 
tion of formulas would be a closed book. 

His wife may succeed him, as in the case of Og.,^^ one of his chil- 
dren may, or again a brother or a sister, who, through having been 
educated with him, may know some of the ins and outs of the pro- 

W. inherited a good deal of his knowledge from his mother, Ayo., 
and a considerable amount from his half-brother, Climbing Bear. 

5" Whose practice was taken over by his wife. (PL 8, b.) 


The knowledge of Og., also W.'s half-brother, came from the same 

Del. is indebted for liis ''scientific information" to his father, 
again the much reputed Climbing Bear, and to his mother, O. 

T. is Del.'s brother-in-law, and lives with him; he has been trained 
by tsi'skwa, his father. 

If we bear in mind that both W.'s wife and Del.'s mother are mid- 
wives, that his half-sister, Je. is a medicine woman, and another 
half-brother a medicine man in another settlement; furthermore, that 
Og.'s wife has taken up his succession, we are bound to be struck by 
the endemic nature of the profession with certain families. 

The group of individuals named above makes up roughly more 
than half of the medicine men of the settlement of which a special 
study was made, and the remaining number could be genealogically 
connected in the same way, comprising such individuals as Gad., 
Wil., J., Ts., and a couple more. 


Staunch conservatives and traditionalists to the core as the medi- 
cine men are, they should not be thought of as a homogeneous body 
of fellows without any individuality, with nicely agreeing and tally- 
ing opinions on matters pertaining to religion and science. 

Elsewhere will be found a few cases where medicine men have not 
feared to introduce innovations in the explanation of the cause of 
diseases, or in its treatment, that from a Cherokee point of view may 
be called truly daring. 

I here want to draw attention to a couple of cases of an even more 
startUng nature, to what might be called symptoms of skepticism 
and rationalism on the part of the members of the guild. 

Gad., whose writings were secured by Mooney, and which are now 
deposited in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology, on 
two occasions gives vent to a tinge of doubt. Once he writes at the 
end of a prescription following a formula to attract the affection of 
a woman: 

tSa'ndtSGe-"' e^ti tsa-'n6'e-'"i a'se*' Ge'li' yi)Do"tyi;-GWO''^ 
they said, App. long time they lived, App. it must it seems it (is) true, Llm. 

e'lt'stt-Gwa''' Ge'SQ*' 

possible, Lim. it is 

I. e., "They said this a long time ago when the (old people) lived; 
possibly it is true, so at least it seems." And another time in similar 
circumstances : 

ase' Gedi' yi;Do'*tyi;-Gwo"' yt'oi 

it must it seems it (is) true, Lim. maybe 

I. e., "Possibly this may be true." 


The fine shades of meaning expressing doubt and even a tinge of 
blasphemous irony, which many of these words convey when used in 
this connection, are ahnost impossible to render in any but a very 
free and colloquial translation, which would run somewhat like this: 
"This has never been proved, but the old people, none of whom, by 
the way, we have ever seen, are reputed to have believed it. Maybe 
it isn't a joke, after all; anyway, what's the harm of trying it." 

Also from personal contacts I have received similar impressions. 
Once I asked a medicine man whether he was absolutely sure about 
a particular subject I was discussing with him, and which he ex- 
plained according to current orthodox and traditional views; I also 
asked him if he would accept another medicine man's views if they 
happened to be diametrically opposed to his own opinions and to 
tradition; he answered: ''Yes, I would, if he could prove that he was 

Good old Og. once confidentially told me that he had lost all con- 
fidence in the diviuatory powers of the "brown stone"; as often as 
he had tried it he had been disappointed. He believed in other 
modes of divination and practiced them, but for "brown stone" 
divination he had no use at all. 

Some more facts that are related to those discussed in this para- 
graph will be found on page 113. 

Attitude Toward White Culture 

Although as a rule the medicine man is strongly opposed to the 
influence of white culture in his domain, and very hostile to the 
white physician and his medicine box, this feeling is much less pro- 
nounced in some localities than in others. The Indians living in the 
neighborhood of the agency, who know by experience that the "white 
medicine" is so much superior to theirs, are brealdng loose from their 
medicine men and their doctrines, and the medicine man feels that 
he is fighting a desperate and hopeless battle. 

Some means he employs in this we would call hardly fair, but I 
am convinced that the medicine men themselves are quite honest 
about them, e. g., when they allege that white doctors willfully cause 
disease (see p. 39) so as to always have clients. "You see," one of 
them told me once, "your white doctors are out after money. We 
will treat a sick man for weeks and weeks and cure hhn, even though 
we know that he has nothing to pay us with. And if he recovers, we 
are just as glad as if he had been a rich man and could have given us 
yards and yards of cloth, and beads and money. But your doctors, 
if they do not get money, they will not cure; and how can they get 
money if the people do not become ill. So they make healthy people 
ill on purpose, that they may cure them and get rich." 

What is there to be answered to such sound dialectics? 


And yet, there are even more arguments. White medicine and 
Indian medicine are both good; but as Indian medicine is not good for 
a white man, what is the use of white medicine for an Indian? "We 
Indians have always used the medicine raw,^° and have gotten used 
to it. But white medicine is not raw, and it does not agree with us." 

Others are less dogmatic about it, and say that there are successful 
white doctors, just as there are skillful Indian medicine men, and that, 
if one of the latter has failed to cure a patient, there is no reason why 
the white doctor should not be given a chance. But the two should 
never be employed at the same time. The only exception to this 
rule that has come to my knowledge is a case where a child was ill, 
and the agency doctor, being summoned, prescribed a medicine to 
be drunk. The Cherokee medicine man, Wil., since deceased, who 
had been attending to the case, had ordered a collection of herbs to 
be cooked and the decoction to be sprinkled over the child. When 
he heard of the white doctor's prescription he did not oppose himself 
to the white man's medicine being used simultaneously with his own, 
as the former was to be used internally, whereas his was for external 
use only. 

One point which even the most inveterate traditionalist will always 
be found readily 'willing to concede is that there are certain diseases 
which an Indian medicine man could not possibly cure, viz, those 
diseases that are of an infectious and contagious nature, and which 
are reputed to be imported by the white people, and more specifically, 
caused by the white doctors. 

On the other hand, there exist aihnents which even the best white 
physician could not cure, as the dreaded and uncanny ay€''ltGO''Gi 
diseases (see p. 33) and in a general way all diseases that are held to 
be caused by human agency and occult means. 

There are quite a few stories circulating, calculated to uphold the 
prestige of the native medicine men at the expense of the agency 
doctors. One of them, representative of the kind, follows below, 
almost textually (Informant W.): 

One day my brother-in-law became suddenly ill on the ball field. 
I carried him home and went after Doctor X ^^ to cure him. 
Doctor X came twice, but gave him up and said there was no hope 
of recovery. I then went to Og., who came; he said that if the side 
man lived until midnight he would recover, but that he was very bad, 
and might die before then. So I went and warned all the relatives, 
and they came and stood by his bedside. About half past 10 that 
night he became very bad, his breath stopped, and we all thought he 

^ The point he wants to make here is, that our materia medica is prepared, 
distilled, extracted, compressed into tablets, etc. There is neither smell, taste, 
nor trace "of the barks and roots" left. 

^* The Government Agency physician. 

oLbeechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 109 

had died. I straightened his legs out, and his stepmother tied her 
handkerchief under his chin. 

But all of a sudden he breathed, and again, and again. Quickly 
they took the handkerchief away; he opened his eyes, and asked: 
"When did I come back?" (It sounded as if he thought he had been 
away.) His father said: "You have not been away; you have been 
in bed all the time." 

Next day he ate, and soon he became stronger; within a week he 
walked about the house; he recovered. 

Personalities — Individual Differences 

Although I have carefully avoided conveying the impression that 
anything applying to one medicine man likewise holds for every one 
of his congeners, yet I consider it necessary to specially devote a few 
lines to a rough sketch of the character of a few of them, bringing out 
such individual differences in views and behavior as struck and im- 
pressed me most. 

It goes without saying that just as anywhere else, and as in any other 
profession, some of them are more proficient and skillful than others; 
that some again are less overawed and fettered by tradition and pat- 
tern than som^e of their colleagues; that some there are, finally, w^hose 
honesty and integrity can not be doubted, whereas others are no better 
than some of the vulgar and mercantile quacks that are not unlvnown 
even in our communities. 

There is W. (57 years old, married; see pi. 5), who acted as my 
interpreter and main informant during the major part of my stay. 
He has a very striking personality. His mother, ayo"sta (Mooney, 
SFC, p. 313; Myths, pi. xiv) was a medicine woman of high repute 
and a staunch traditionahst. From her W. got a lot of mythological 
and botanical lore when he was quite young, but after he went to the 
Government school at Hampton, Ya., he lost, as he says himself, all 
faith in what the old people believed and taught. He was recon- 
verted, however, by an experience, a detailed account of which will 
be given elsewhere, and during which, by some Cherokee talisman, 
which his half brother. Climbing Bear, had procured for him, he 
managed to win the affection of a white girl. 

In spite of this success, the white people's settlements made him feel 
hopelessly homesick. He returned to his people, and it did not take 
him more than a few days to drop into the old life again, and to work 
out a quaint philosophy and outlook on life of his own, and which he 
occasionally teaches and advocates, with the result that these views 
are uttered rather frequently by other medicine men, with more or less 
conviction as the case may be. According to this system, "white 
medicine might be good, and Indian medicine might be good. There 
are some diseases (e. g., aye'ltGO'ci diseases) which a white doctor can 


not cure, and there are some against which an Indian doctor is helpless. 
But as a rule, a white man's medicine can not help an Indian, just as 
Indian medicine is of no use to a white man. He (W.) personally 
experienced this." 

Although he expresses himself in such a mUd way with regard to 
white doctors and their medicine, I know that he secretly holds the 
aboriginal medicine men with their paraphernalia and simples as far 
more successful and skilled masters, and whenever any sickness pre- 
vails in his cabin, W. will only call on the Government physician after 
weeks of treatment by his own and other medicine men's arts have 
brought no results. 

Again, although he is fully convinced of the fact that a medicine 
man should never impose on the laymen or brag about his superior 
knowledge, I know that W. is very conceited, and since the death of 
his half brother, Climbing Bear, he considers himself second to none. 

He is feared by many, despised by a few, loved by none. Yet, 
because of his accomplishments and his keen intelligence, he has been 
elected a member of the Cherokee Council so often that he has been in 
office for upward of a score of years. Few, if any, on the whole 
reserve have had a better "white education"; hardly one of his people 
has lived in white communities as long as W. has; 3^et he is the most 
ardent and most conscious of traditionalists. 

He is fully aware of his own worth and accomplishments, and there- 
fore extremely sensitive to mockery and slight. Unflinciiingly believ- 
ing in every bit of Cherokee traditional and ritual lore as he does, I am 
sure that many times he has by occult means tried to remove from his 
path and from this world, those that were his avowed or secret enemies. 

In his practice he never consciously departs from ritual or tradition, 
and most literally and punctiliously follows and observes injunctions 
and prescriptions appended to the formulas. 

As to his professional honesty, I found several proofs of this being 
scant indeed; yet I do not think that his motives were whoUy or even 
mostly selfish. At times one would be inclined to look upon him as 
one who believes hunself the prophet of a losing cause, and firmly con- 
vinced that all means are allowable to keep the people at large in the 
respect and in the awe of the beliefs and the institutions of the past. 

His pronounced erotic nature, which is to be discussed later in con- 
nection with the experience mentioned above, is undoubtedly responsi- 
ble for many traits in his behavior; his natural disposition for conceit, 
e. g., is considerably enhanced by it. 

An activity and a providence, which the more surprise us as they are 
totally unknown to his shiftless and happy-go-lucky fellows, he owes, 
I feel quite sure, to his training as an adolescent in the Government 
boarding school, and to his subsequent stay with white families as a 
servant and coachman. 



Altogether. W, was by far the most impressive and most important 
personality in the settlement at the time of my stay. If only so much 
antipathy had not been rampant against him he would without any 
doubt have been considered, implicitly if not outspokenly, the leader 
of the community. 

This r6]e, however, it has been given to T. (63 years old, bachelor, 
pi. 10, c) to fulfill. Vastly inferior to W., both in intelligence and 
knowledge, his disposition and temperament have secured for him a 
universal love and a public esteem, to which by the mere accomplish- 
ments of his mind he could never have attained. 

His social intercourse is replete with a distinction and a nobility 
that would create a sensation in an aristocratic drawing-room. 
Children that run and scramble away into hiding when W. comes 
briskly stepping along the trail, approach with glee and hail with joy 
the person of T. as he leisurely and serenely comes strolling along. 
There is in the whole of his appearance, in his intercourse, in his deal- 
ings with young and old alike, a kindly amiability tempered with a 
dignified reserve that immediately betrays the wisdom of life. 

Hmnbly realizmg his importance, he never hurries, speaks but little 
and then slowly, as if he deliberately chose and weighed the value of 
his words; he is stoic and calm in illness and adversity as in victory 
and success. He not only professes to be humble, but actually con- 
siders his professional knowledge as a loan extended to him for the 
benefit of his people. 

Although he has passed through the various grades of the profession, 
it speaks for his personality that he now only retains such specialties 
as divination, praying for long life, love attraction, etc. But anyone 
appealing to his medical knowledge is never disappointed — at least 
not by T.'s willingness. 

The general consideration in which he is held has brought him the 
honor of preparing the Big Cove team for the ball game whenever they 
have been challenged by a rival team of another settlement. The 
meaning of this appointment has been explained (p. 91). 

It will be noticed that after all, the professional aspect of T.'s 
character is scarcely touched upon here, and this portrays conditions 
exactly as I found them. To a question, which of the two, W. or 
T., is the better medicine man, a Cherokee answers that T. is so 
VDa'N!tt*yu', such a nice fellow. 

The contrast between these two men, whose characters I have 
sketched as objectively as can be done by such a method as here used, 
is clearly brought out, and goes to prove that with the Cherokee 
superior knowledge in a medicine man may have to give the right of 
way to a more human disposition. 

If all the remarkable and noteworthy persons here discussed had 
been born and educated in a white environment I like to think of T. 
7548°— 32 9 


as an honorary president of a powerful amalgamation of scientific 
societies. W. might have built and directed a splendidly equipped 
and well-paying hospital; but Og. (pi. 9, a), whom we are going to 
present now, would have been the altruistic and devoted scientist, 
constantly busy in the laboratory, peering over tables and instru- 
ments, testing, measuring, and titrating, doggedly in search after 
methods and devices to improve the health and lengthen the life of 
this sorely tried and cruelly stricken humanity. 

Og. was 64 years old when he died in 1927, while I was working with 
him. His knowledge was truly encyclopedic, and whenever the 
rich fund of W.'s information tarried, and no one else could supply 
the necessaiy elucidation, Og. was the last and usually happy resort. 

When there was a diagnosis to be made that baffled everybody his 
knowledge and experience was never called upon in vain; when 
plants or roots were needed, the very names of which other medicine 
men but faintly recollected, he was always able to describe them, to 
find them, and to identify them. 

When hoary origins of institutions and of practices were to be dug 
up out of the voluminous mythological lore he was the man to do it, 
when everybody else had failed. 

If only he had had 10 per cent as much ambition as he had knowl- 
edge of tribal, ritual, and medicinal affairs he would have been as 
celebrated one day as that other "Oconostota" of Fort Loudon fame. 
But his inherent shyness, which went so far as to actually shun the 
company even of liis friends, his passion for his profession, his truly 
philosophic turn of mind, made of this man a personality that in a 
civilized community and in an educated environment might have 
become an Edison or an Einstein. 

Doting college juniors could not discuss the branch of their predi- 
lection wdth so much zeal and enthusiasm as Og. could. Hours at a 
stretch he could not only give information — or rather lecture on 
Cherokee obstetrics or semeiology, as I would much rather put it — 
but he could investigate a problem, ask surprisingly keen questions, 
that often really stimulated thought and provoked solutions. 

He was practically the only medicine man of the many I have 
known who could be said to have a certain perspective in his loiowledge 
and who was not hopelessly unable to connect two bits of information 
that came from different branches of his "erudition." If his opinion 
was asked regarding an obscure text in the formulas, he would of 
his own accord consult his fund of mythological lore, to see what he 
could find there that might be of any use to shed some light on the 

His professional devotion was edifying, and his honesty was beyond 
questioning. I have elsewhere drawn attention to the baffling fact 
that even such a character as Og. used methods which can hardly 


be called by any other name than that of prestidigitation. Yet I 
remain firmly convinced that he was in unquestionably good faith in 
this regard. 

One of the more sinister persons in the profession is Jo. (70 years 
old, widower). He is looked upon by all the others not only as an 
outsider but as an impostor. This opinion I am rather inclined to 
believe as doing justice to the facts, the more so as I have never been 
able to induce him to work with me, in spite of his reputed greedy 
love of money. He is a member of the Cherokee Council and a 
preacher for one of the two Churches that makeefl'orts to evangelize the 
people. It is quite a proposition to try to analyze Jo.'s personality, 
as it is very intricate. Since he is a preacher, which to him is para- 
mount to being a full-fledged member of the intelligentsia of the white 
people, he considers it just as necessary to belong to the leading 
personalities of his own people ; for this reason he becomes a medicine 
man, or rather pretends to be one. Since, now, being a preacher 
gives him the right and the authority to expound and explain the 
hidden and secret meanings of Holy Writ to his congregation, he 
thinks he also has the privilege of altering Cherokee traditional and 
medical lore to suit his opinion; that is where he comes in open conflict 
with the conservatives in general, and most of all with the ensign 
bearers of conservatism, the medicine men. 

To give an instance : Whereas tradition teaches that the future can 
only be divulged by definitely specified means (beads, "brown 
stone," etc.), and by an elaborate ritual, Jo. pretends that he can 
prophecy without any such paraphernalia; that he simply sees the 
future happenings and events; that he has a revelation, as we would 

Such a statement, to the mind of those of the medicine men that are 
sincere, is nothing short of blasphemy, and to those that are not quite 
so honest, it is even more odious, because when you take away from 
such a ceremony as dfvination all the mysterious uncanny, awe- 
inspiring proceedings, such as twisting the beads, intently watching 
the dangling brown stone, praying to the Ancient Fire prior to drop- 
ping the sacred tobacco over it — if all this is done away with, what 
remains to impress the clients? 

Yet the influence which Jo. has as a preacher and as a councillor 
makes it possible for him to be a heretic and not be ostracized, and 
to be a blasphemer and not to starve. 

Knowing as he does the disdain he is held in by the other medicine 
men, Jo. plays tit for tat, never letting an occasion pass to "make 
them mad," The primordial quality of a Cherokee medicine man, 
devotion to his patients, whether from a true moral incentive or from 
mere love of the fee, is absolutely foreign to Jo., and as I know him, 
I am honestly convinced that on the rare occasion a patient ascribes 


his cure to him, Jo.'s reaction is primarily, if not wholly, one of 
fiendish glee at the fact that he has humiliated a competing medicine 
man; the humane satisfaction of having rid a sufferer of his pain, 
which is never absent with any of the other medicine men, has no 
part in Jo.'s feelings. 

Is it necessary to say which one, of all Cherokee practitioners, is 
most cordially hated by Jo.? And who most fiercely returns the 
compliment? W., of course. Both of them councillors and ardent 
with political ambition and passion, neither of them honest as a 
practitioner nor as a man ; both of them too well educated to be good 
Cherokee, and neither of them educated enough to Imow what to 
take and what to leave of white culture, they often meet on the road 
to the same objective, and always as competitors. I personally 
know that drama has come near to bringing a tragic solution to their 

But all in that motley body of Cherokee medicine men is not 
dramatic; besides its sinister and gloomy personages, it has its 
Rabelais: Meet Jud. (married, no children, 63 years old, pi. 10, a), 
a most captivating and amusing personality. 

To begin with, and to be quite honest, Jud, is no medicine man 
at all; he merely longs, languishes, dies to be one; I am sure that if 
only he could obtain that ardently craved honor by paying for it 
with 10 years of his life — if he has so much to his credit, poor old 
friend — he would gladly do so. If Jud. only knew, even if his com- 
peers make sport and fun of liis efforts to capture the first principles 
of practical therapeutics at the age of 60, that I, his adopted son, 
discuss him this day along with the past masters of the science, 
how proud he would be, and what a tremendous joke he would con- 
sider it to be. 

Although I am satisfied I can show why Jud. can never be a good 
medicine man, I must admit my utter inability to explain why he 
wants to be one. He himself does not know, and considered it a very 
stupid question when I asked him. "Why, aren't there many 
people who are medicine men? And look at the old people; aren't 
they nearly all medicine men? Why shouldn't I become one?" 
And then, bethinking himself, "he was suffering so much from 
Dt^Dole-'ski (rheumatism); he needed treatment practically every 
day; could he afford the time and the money ^^ to have a medicine 
man come to his house every morning to scratch him with a briar 
and to mumble a formula which he could learn to recite just as well?" 
And, finally, with a roguish twinkle in his eye that suddenly and com- 
pletely seemed to metamorphize him into a lad of 18: "Moreover, if 
I want love medicine, do you expect me to go and ask one of those 
guys for it?" 

«2 Jud. is very well off, as local standards go. 

J z 
< < 






a, J., One of the Lesser Stars 

'', Del.. Descendantof an Old Lineage of Medicine 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 115 

An incorrigible jester, a side-spiitting joker, Jud. is the most per- 
fect anthropomorphized trickster you could imagine. Once as I was 
trying to reconstitute the Cherokee rabbit cycle, and was mobihzing 
all the available sources of information, Jud. came on one of his 
numerous visits. Brimful of the interesting subject, I asked him 
eagerly w^hat he loiew of the rabbit? He concentrated his thoughts 
on the subject, shifted his weight, looked at the ceiling, spat on the 
floor, and then, as I turned a keen face up from my notebook, he 
drawled: "All I know about the rabbit is how to eat it." 

What an enormous asset this jocular disposition may be to flit 
through life smiling and contented, it is less desired in a medicine 
man. Yet, in spite of his stingy wife's protests, and unheeding the 
jokes and taunts of the people, Jud. goes about his plans, collecting 
bits of knowledge and scraps of information wherever he can, buying 
expensive documents, which he can neither read nor interpret. When 
he afterwards calls in the aid of a medicine man — whom he has to 
pay— to find out what his latest acquisition is all about, he learns 
that it is incomplete, that the "directions" are missing, or that it is 
worthless on account of some other defect. The whole settlement 
hears about it and roars, but the loudest peal of laughter comes 
from Jud. Somehow, he considers it a capital joke, and he could 
not for a moment entertain the idea that the joke is on him. 

Since Jud. was politely lacked out of the door by all the members 
of the profession, I had the questionable privilege of being honored 
with his visit daily at first, and slightly less frequently afterwards. 
He proved second to none as far as keenness to discuss the subject 
was concerned. Alas, his ignorance was so manifest that the exchange 
of ideas proved not profitable. 

There are some more medicine men with whom work was done, but 
they belonged to what may be called an undergraduate class, both 
as regards professional accomplishments and individuality. 

Ts. (pi. 8, a), widov/er, 73 years old, and J. (pi. 11, a), his son 
(died 1928, 47 years old), were both very charming individuals, but 
had a rather narrow conception of things. They looked upon their 
occupation as a job or a trade rather than as an art or a profession ; 
to dispose of his "fee" (see p. 95 et seq.;also Mooney, SFC, p. 338) 
was as important and as awkward a problem for J. as to cure a patient. 
If the other medicine men were worthy professors, these were mere 
Sunday-school teachers. 

Del. (pi. 11, b), 51 years old, married, could, if he had chosen, 
have become a bright star in the Cherokee medical constellation. 
Only slightly less intelligent than Og., he is even more retiring and 
shy than his uncle was. He is a well-providing father for his family, 
and considers the medicine man's profession too unstable and pre- 
carious to support his household. I am inclined to believe, more- 


over, that his practical turn of inind and his active temperament 
have also something to do with this; thus it would be explained why, 
although practicing very little himself, he is the only medicine man 
who is still able and willing to make such "surgical" instruments as 
are still in use — comb scratchers, sucking horns, etc. 

Je. (pi. 12, a), widow, 72, and O. (pi. 12, b), Del.'s mother, Climbing 
Bear's widow, 73, the two medicine women during my stay, do not 
call for any discussion here. Their position was devoid of any impor- 
tance, and their role was almost limited to that of mid wives. O. is 
far more universally loved than Je. is, which feeling I must heartUy 
commend and sympathetically indorse. 

Sexual Life 

Since the manuscript, to which this discussion is an introduction, 
does not contain any formulas dealing with love matters, such as 
conjuration to gain the affection of a woman, to destroy in a particular 
woman the promiscuous tendencies she has shown, incantations to 
take vengeance on a woman who has scoffed at sympathies proffered, 
to sow discord between a couple of lovers, etc., it has not been con- 
sidered necessary to go into such minute details on this score as has 
been done with matters pertaining to purely medical lore, which 
constitutes the bulk of the material offered in this manuscript. 

Two more manuscripts, on which some work has already been done, 
and of which the publication is contemplated, will afford a far better 
opportunity to treat at length such topics as sense of shame, puberty, 
sexual life, adultery, sexual pathology, etc. 


It would seem that Cherokee ideas on this subject had been con- 
siderably influenced by the views of their white neighbors. This 
need not, however, be the case. There are less civilized peoples 
whose conceptions about disease and medicine are not any more 
reasonable than those of the Cherokee, and whose explanation of the 
process of conception is even more rational (cf. Kleiweg de Zwaan, 
pp. 158-159). 

Male and female alike ''produce the matter which becomes mixed 
and goes to form the child in (the womb of) the mother. In some 
cases this matter is mixed right away, in which case they wiU have 
a baby soon; in other cases it may take several months, or even a 
couple of years." 

"She is pregnant" is rendered Gane^'ldo", also 'taluii' (lit. "she 
carries it"?). 



(I. Je., a prominent Midwife 

^^ >'-""'**^- J 

6, o., Del."s Mother; Midwife 


Cherokee Dance Mask 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 117 

It is held that imsimultaneous detumescence can not produce 
offspring. * 

There is no clear conception as to the origin of the soul of the 
child. The majority of the informants say that they do not know, 
"they have never thought of it." The keenest of the medicine men, 
W., thought that it came along, with what went to form the body of 
the child, and was therefore secreted by both the individuals 
concerned in the act. 

A woman knows she has conceived by the stopping of her cata- 
menial flow. 

Abortus — Contraceptives 

Abortus is totally unknown; even my best informant (a man of 
56, prominent medicine man, holding a leading position in the tribal 
organization, twice married, high school graduate), had never heard 
of it, and I had a good deal of difficulty in making him understand 
what I meant. He was horrified at the idea, and I am afraid his 
esteem for the white people and the ways of some of them was not 
improved, when he finally grasped the idea. 

It does not seem to have dawned on them that the foetus can be 
tampered with at all, and to do so, W. thought, would be outright 
murder. As he put it: "You might as well cut a 5-year-old child's 
head off." 

Of contraceptive measures, they do not seem to be quite so ignorant. 
They know one: t*t'kyi;'*sti {Cicuta maculata L.; spotted cowbane; 
musquash root; beaver's poison), the roots of which are chewed and 
swallowed for four days consecutively by the woman who wants to 
put an end to her conceptive abilities. It is alleged that if a woman 
uses this she will become sterile forever. 

From a point of view of morals, it is considered nothing less than 
a crime, and none of my informants knew a case where it had been 
used. One, W. again, said that he never knew it to be used, but 
that he imagines that it might be used by a woman who can not keep 
her children alive, or when it is considered that "partus" would 
endanger her life. But even then, he said, they would not do it, 
"for a woman will just as lief take the risk of dying with her baby, 
rather than to live without a child." 

There is a vague hint by some of the informants at the possibility 
of promiscuous women using this drug, especially if they are married, 
so that there can be no material proof of their misbehavior. But 
substantial evidence to prove this impression could not be given. 

When we consider their total ignorance of abortive measures 
and the scant and vague knowledge of contraceptives, I am inclined 
to think that the Cherokee hold the only means known to them from 
the white settlers. It is said that, at an early period of its growth, 


the plant resembles parsley (of. Larousse Medical (Paris, 1922), 226), 
and parsley {Petroselinum sativum Hoffm.) has been and still is 
popular in several European countries as an abortive (of. v. Hov. 
Kr. I 170; Lemery 417; Dodoens 1176). It is still used in official 
medicine as an emmenagogue (U. S. Dispensatory, p. 1393). 

During Pregnancy 

As soon as a woman feels she is with child she informs her husband 
and her friends of it. Soon the whole settlement knows about 
her condition, and she becomes subjected to the multifarious taboos 
and injunctions relating to her condition. The most important of 
the latter is that she be " taken to the water" every new moon. 

The ceremony of going to the river to pray, to be prayed for, and 
to bathe, is the outstanding one of Cherokee ritual. It is now fast 
disappearing, and only the staunch and conservative old-timers cling 
to it as to one of the last vestiges of aboriginal religion. 

As stated elsewhere (see p. 150), there are sei^eral occasions on which 
the Cherokee should perform this ceremony ; as a whole, the ceremony 
is pretty much the same in every case; whether it be merely the 
monthly rite at the new moon, or whether it be to work against an 
enemy, or to conjure a disease away, or to "examine with the beads," 
the individual on whose behalf the ceremony is performed goes to 
the bank of the river, accompanied by the priest, who recites some 
prayer, conjuration, or incantation, at the end of which some water is 
dipped out with the hollow of the hand, and the crown of the head, 
the bosom ("where our soul is"), and often the face is washed. 

The particular ceremony of taking pregnant women to the water is 
renewed at every new moon, a few months prior to the expected 
delivery. According to mformation, listed in notes of Mooney, it 
should be started after the third month of pregnancy; 01. and Del. 
told me that it was only observed during the last three months 
preceding delivery, whereas W. maintained the ceremony took place 
every new moon, starting when the pregnant woman felt for the 
first time the motion of the child within her, which is said by the 
Cherokee to happen usually about the fifth month after conception. 

The pregnant woman goes down to the river, accompanied by the 
priest. Two white beads (white being the color emblematic of Ufe), 
or sometimes two red beads (red being the color symbolizing success), 
and a white thread, 50 to 60 centimeters long, are put down on the 
ground on a yard of white calico. All this is to be supplied by the 
client, and is afterwards taken away by the priest as his fee. 

The couple is usually accompanied by an attendant, as a rule the 
husband, the mother, or some other relative of the woman, who 
throughout the proceedings acts as assistant, spreading out the cloth, 


arranging the beads and the thread. It is as a rule also the assistant 
who, at the end of the ceremony, makes a bundle of the paraphernalia 
and hands it to the priest. 

The party standing on the bank of the river, facing the water, the 
priest recites the prayer (see Texts, Form. No. 18, p. 193), meanwhile 
holding a red (or white) and a black bead between thumb and index 
of his right and left hands (see p. 132). The lively movements of the 
right-hand bead spell success, those of the left-hand bead spell disap- 
pointment. At the end of the ceremony he strings the beads on the 
thread, deposes them on the calico, which is then wrapped up by the 
assistant and given to the priest to take home with him. 

This ceremony, though it is understood to be gone through for the 
benefit of mother and child, often has as its more immediate object 
an aim of rather a divinatory nature, e. g., whether the child will 
live or will be stillborn, or again, what will be its sex, etc. The 
client has the right to stipulate the aim of the divination. Every 
time at the end of the ceremony the priest tells the woman what are 
the results and the prospects. 

The priest takes the cloth and the two beads home with him, and 
at the next new moon has to bring the latter back \vith him. At 
the second ceremony the patron has to supply two more beads, 
which are finally strung on the same white thread along with the 
others, and also another yard of white cloth, which again the priest 
takes home as his fee. 

These purely religious ceremonies are only a part of what we might 
term the prenatal care and treatment with the Cherokee. Even as 
long before delivery as this, simples are taken to induce an easy par- 

Each time, before setting out for this river ceremony, the woman, 
before she leaves home, drinks a decoction of bark of Da-'"w8dzf'la 
(Ulmus julva, Michx., red, or slippery elm); stems of "wale-'lu 
u'^nadzrlaGf'sti {Impatiens hijiora Walt., spotted touch-me-not); roots 
of Ga'naGwa^k'ski niGo^'ilg*' ttse'!i {Veronica officinalis L., common 
speedwell); cones of n5.tsi,' {Pinus pungens Lamb., Table Moimtain 

The first is used because of the mucilaginous nature of its bark: 
"It will make the inside of the woman slippery," so that the child 
wiU have no difficulty in putting in an appearance. 

The second plant is alleged to frighten the child, and to entice it 
"to jmup down" briskly. 

The two last plants named are chosen because they are niGo''t'l9*'' 
itse'^i, i. e., "evergreens," and it is expected of them that they wiU 
convey theii* properties of longevity and unimpaired health to the 


There is no doubt but there is some symbolic significance attached 
to the method of selecting the ingredients — roots, barks, stems, 
tops. No information could be gained to elucidate this, even though 
all the informants agreed that there must be some cause underlying 
it. It may point to a symbolic way of presenting hfe from birth to 
growth, an interpretation which sounds quite orthodox in the Ught of 
what we know of Cherokee symbolism and beUef. 

As stated, this decoction is drunk at home prior to going down to 
the river; when standing near the water, the woman induces vomit- 
ing. This medicine is not only thought to be beneficial to parturi- 
tion, but it also cleanses the woman from all disease germs that may 
be latent in her, and induces the throwing off of any "spoiled saliva." 
(See p. 15.) 


When with child, a woman not only has to be very careful lest any 
harm befall her; she herself is extremely dangerous to her relatives, 
friends, and neighbors. Beliefs relating to the latter conception 
have been discussed elsewhere. (See p. 35.) 

As to the restrictions she herself is subjected to, there are first of 
all the food taboos: 

She should not eat squirrel (sa'lo'li'), because if she does, the child, 
when about to be born, will not come down, but will "go up," as a 
squirrel, when frightened, climbs up a tree (Del.; O.); or because 
squirrels have a hump, and if she eats any squirrel meat the baby 
would He in the womb in a humped position, which would make 
delivery very difficult (W.). 

Nor should she eat t^Q'^Mi'sti' ("pheasant"; ruffed grouse), as her 
child would not live (Mooney, Myths, p. 285). 

Nor raccoon (k'o^'li'), as this would give the child the gq-" "wantGis'ti 
disease (see p. 67). 

Nor speckled trout (a-t.tsa'.), as the child would have birthmarks, 
black spots on the face (Del.; O.); or because this would cause undue 
bloodshed during partus (W.). 

Nor rabbit (tcfstu'), as the child would sleep with its eyes open 
(Del.; O.); or because it would have ridiculously large eyes. 

Nor crawfish (tct'stg'na'), which runs backward, as the child would 
obstinately refuse to come down at the time of deHvery. 

No animals are to be eaten that have been shot, either by gun or 
bow and arrow; in other words, no animals killed with bloodshed. 
But the same animals that are tabooed if killed by bullet or arrow may 
be eaten if caught in traps and snares, or if stunned and killed by 
club or adze. 

There are, so to speak, no taboos with reference to plant foods. 
The only one I could find was the nuts of se'ti' {Juglans nigra L., 


black walnut). If these nuts are eaten, the child will have a horribly- 
broad nose. 

Salt is to be used as scantily as possible. No reason for this could 
be given. W. said he thought it was "because salt makes meat 
(and therefore also flesh) swell." (See p. 65.) 

No trace of the belief in the result of unsatisfied picae could be 

Apart from the food taboos there are quite a number of restrictions 
and injunctions which a pregnant woman has to observe. 

She should not be visited by a menstrual woman. 

She should never loiter near the doorway. Whenever she has to go 
in or out of the cabin she must do so briskly. If she loiters at the 
doorway "the child will be slow in jumping down." 

Every morning she should go to a near-by creek or spring, accom- 
panied by her husband, and both should wash their faces, hands, and, 
some say, their feet. This custom has nothing to do with the cere- 
monial gOLQg to water observed at every new^ moon, and is of a totally 
different nature. It seems to be practiced solely for hygienic pur- 
poses, although there is no telling but this might be a mere ration aHzed 
explanation of an act that had formerly a religious significance. One 
informant, Del., gave as a reason, that it was done simply to multiply 
the opportunities for going out of doors. (See p. 122.) 

She should not comb her hair backward, as the hair of the child, when 
grown, would not fall smoothly along its head, but would grow brist- 
ling and unkempt. 

She should not wear a neckerchief, nor a belt of cloth or bead work; 
nor should she have an apron tied around her waist. If she disregards 
any of these injunctions the child will have the umbiHcal cord twisted 
round its neck, and wdll be suffocated. 

She should not see a corpse; but should she have to accompany a 
burial, where at the graveyard everybody is supposed to cast a last 
glance at the face of the deceased, any pregnant woman is given the 
opportunity to precede all those present; for, should others look at the 
corpse before she was given a chance, this would result in serious 
obstacles for her delivery. 

"In the times of long ago," W. told me, "pregnant women were 
not allowed to see masks; now they are no longer so careful about this. 
But in olden times such powerful witches existed that they could make 
the unborn chUd look as horrible as the mask its mother had looked at. 
But now they are no longer so powerful." (PL 13.) 

husband's taboos 

A considerable portion of the taboos that have to be observed by the 
future father has probably been lost. Yet some of them still exist, and 
are still observed by the more conservative members of the tribe. 


A man whose wife is pregnant must not be a gravedigger, nor must 
he help in any way wdth a burial, else his child would be stillborn. 

Nor should he put a fold or dents in his hat, since as a result of this 
the child would be born with dents in its head. This behef may con- 
tain an allusion to the fontanels. 

As well as his wiie, the husband should abstain from wearing a 
neckerchief, and he also should always enter and leave the house or 
pass through any doorway in a hurry. 

If his wife has to go out of the house during the night he has to 
accompany her. The explanation tendered for this custom is again 
that it is merely done to have an opportunity for going outside (see 
p. 121), but it is quite possible that we are dealing herewith a survival of 
an older behef, found among nearly all uncivilized peoples, and accord- 
ing to which a woman with child is a favorite victim for all kinds of 
marauding night sprites. Of such a belief there is now, however, no 
trace left. 

As already stated, the husband shoidd also accompany his wife 
every morning to a near-by stream or spring. (See p. 121.) 


A few days before delivery the husband has to make arrangements 
for four women to attend to the parturient woman. 

A woman acting in this capacity calls this tsiya'^liDaDin9-'Da"ne!a', I 
assist at childbirth (lit.: "I make the (child) jump down from her for 

The woman's mother, her sister, and relatives are asked when pos- 
sible, but if these are living at distant settlements, or if they are not 
available for other reasons, female neighbors will do just as well. 
It is a rule that at least one of the four is a midwife A\'ith some reputa- 
tion, so that she can be relied upon to recite the necessary formulas 
and to indicate the simples that may be necessary if compUcations 
set in. 

There is no doubt but the injunction that four women must be 
present is again to be explained by the respect which the Cherokee 
have for this number. It is interesting to note that they themselves 
have rationalized it; they allege that it is an official regulation of the 
North Carolina State authorities, that the number of female attendants 
should be four. 

I know of cases, though, where this rule was not observed, and when 
a child was born at the house we stayed at, only two women were 
present, one of them being O. Rarely a masculine practitioner is 
present, but this may be the case when a difficult partus is expected, 
as when the woman has been ill the last few days prior to parturition, 
and he is invariably called in if complications set in after delivery. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 123 

As soon as the parturient feels the first pangs of pain the women 
who are to attend to her are summoned ; they give her straightway a 
warm infusion of the barks of t*aya' tna'Ge"° eli, {Prunus serotina 
Ehr. (?), a variety of wild cherry). 

This is probably the time when, in former times, the woman 
repaired to the menstruation lodge, the o-'si, where she remained 
until 12 or 24 days after delivery. Now, however, the whole opera- 
tion takes place in the cabin. All the children and the male inmates, 
save the husband if he cares to stay, have to leave the cabin (the 
cabins, as a rule, boast only of one room). If the husband or a medi- 
cine man stay they have to keep behind the patient. 

At this time a medicine man or a medicine woman who has been 
warned a few days previously to keep ready is summoned; he or she 
comes, and sees to it that everything is all right; that all the pre- 
cautions are taken, that the assistants are in attendance, that the 
necessary simples are at hand, etc. He or she, if necessary, may go 
out and collect the barks and roots needed. 

The practitioner then walks out, stands at the eastern comer of 
the cabin and recites a conjuration, calling upon the child to "jump 
down"; the child is addressed as Vtsy'Dzo", "thou little boy." 

He then slowly walks to the north-side corner of the house and 
repeats the formula, addressing the child as 't'oe^'yu-'Dzo", "thou 
little giri." 

Then walking on to the west-side corner, the boy is again called 
upon, and at the south side, the girl. 

He or she may then walk home, if satisfied that there is an old 
woman present who can deal with the case and who knows the formu- 
las that may further be needed. Should this not be the fact, they 
stay imtil after parturition. Plate 12, a, shows the medicine woman 
who went through this ceremony at the birth we witnessed. 

If it is deemed necessary, the house may be circumambulated once 
more, this time to ward ofi" the activity of witches. 

Attention has already been drawn to the belief that witches are 
especially active against individuals who are too weak to resist, and 
it is beheved that they consider both the infant at birth and the 
woman after parturition as particularly easy prey. (See p. 33.) 

The position taken by the parturient may differ considerably in 
different cases. One or two of these positions are undoubtedly 
acquired from the whites. 

(1) The woman lies down until symptoms indicate that delivery 
is approaching. She is then taken under the axillae by one or two of 
the attending women, and raised to her feet, reclining backward in 
a slanting position; her feet are wide apart, and her legs stretched 
open. A third woman stands in front, stooping and ready to take 
hold of the child when it comes. If matters do not seem to progress, 


if they think they acted upon "a false alarm," the woman who raised 
the patient sits down on a chair, and gently lets the woman down to 
the floor in a sitting position; the patient's back is supported by the 
seated attendant's legs. 

(2) The parturient kneels on the ground, her legs wide open; she 
clutches the back of a chair. The attendants assist her a posteriori. 

(3) The woman sits on the lap of her husband, who sits on a chair 
and holds his arms around his wife's waist. 

(4) Parturition while lying down is almost unknown. 
Whatever the position may be, the woman is always completely 

dressed. This does not interfere so much with the operation as one 
might think, as undergarments are all but unknown by the majority 
of the people. The dress is merely tucked up when deemed necessary. 

The women arrange among themselves what particular part of 
the work will be performed by each of them. 

The woman who first takes hold of the child, and who as a rule is 
tacitly agreed upon as the one in charge, is supposed to care for the 
chUd throughout the operation. 

The woman standing by her side binds and cuts the navel string, 
while the two other women look after the parturient. 

The one who stands in front of the patient, ready to catch the 
child, usually has a cloth spread out on her hands. Sometimes, 
instead of actually taking the child from the mother it is allowed 
to fall, with a most unhealthy sounding thud, on a cloth spread out 
on the floor; a few handfuls of dry leaves may be put under the cloth 
to mitigate the child's fall. 

Prior to cutting the navel string, the blood is driven from the pla- 
centa toward the child, by running thumb and index along the funic- 
ulus; it is then bound off, about 2 centimeters from the chUd, and 
cut about 4 centimeters from its body. An odd end of string or 
yam or a thin strip of calico is used for this. The cutting is now 
done with scissors. 

Both as a prophylactic and as a therapeutic measure, a species of 
fungus, no.kwi.'si yDt-'ciDo"' (Geaster, -puf^h&ll), is put on the navel 
and left on it until the withered remains of the funiculus fall off. 

i;*'Di*yg"'°DaU', navel. 

i;''Di*yQ*'°Data', navel string (attached to chUd). 

i;*''Di*y9''°Dat9'nOvi, navel string (severed from child). 

No particular belief relating to the fontanel, nor any special treat- 
ment referring to it, were noticed. 

Nor does there seem to exist any lore pertaining to chDdren born 
with a caul. 

The child is washed off with wann water and rolled in any piece 
of cloth that may be available, and the woman who attends to it 
squats down near the fire with it, her duties being now practically 

Olbre^hts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 125 

Complications. — As far as the partus itself is concerned there are, 
after all, only two kinds of complications known: 

(1) The child is slow in coming. 

(2) Its position in the womb prevents its delivery. 

In the first case the woman's private parts are bathed with a warm 
decoction of "wale"'lu y'nadzfbGf'sti {Tmpatiens biflora Walt., 
spotted touch-me-not), which is said to scare the child. 

The best means to induce partus are those where the child is 
"scared"; the plant just named is said to produce this result; in 
other cases (cf. texts, Formula No. 70, p. 273) the child is enticed to 
hurry as an old ugly grannie, or the terrible looking Flint, is said 
to be approaching. This statement, it is thought, will make the 
little fellow come scampering out. 

Or again, the child is lured out of its mother by being promised 
the very playthings it likes — bow and arrows for a boy; a sieve or a 
loom for a girl. 

Also an infusion of the simples as described on p. 119 may be ad- 
ministered again; if all this does not help a medicine man is called in, 
who will start "working" on the case. He may examine with the 
beads, to see what will be the ultimate outcome; he may by the same 
means find out that witchcraft is active against the woman and her 
child, in which case "old tobacco" will be smoked or burned. (See 
p. 31.) Or the formula calling upon the child to "jump down" may 
be repeated. (See above.) In this case the child is actually given 
a name — first a boy's name; then, if the ceremony is unsuccessful, a 
girl's name — so as to have a more material and coercive way of 
addressing it. 

If a medicine man is attending to the case, and some decoction has to 
be applied externally, he does so in a very peculiar way. As he is not 
supposed to stand in front of the patient, whose garments are tucked 
up, and who is held by one or two of the women attendants in the 
slanting, semireclining position as described before, the medicine 
man has to stand behind these women and blow the decoction through 
a reed tube (see p. 58) so that the liquid descends on the stomach 
and the abdomen of the parturient, after having described a curve 
over her head. 

This way of applying a medicine shows once more to what extent 
symbolic and mythic concepts are used in Cherokee medicine. For 
even if the simple used were of any therapeutic value, what result 
could it have when applied in such an inefficacious manner, when 
often more of the decoction is scattered on the attending women and 
on the face, arms, and legs of the patient than on the part of her body 
actually under treatment. 

As for difficult parturition due to the inverted or otherwise ab- 
normal position of the foetus in the uterus, the Cherokee take a 


more rational view of it, and apply a more efficacious if somewhat 
rough treatment. 

A skilled midwife can ascertain the position the child is taking up, 
and if this is not natural, and parturition is delayed on its account, 
the four women take hold of the patient, each of them grasping an 
arm or a leg, and swing and shake her body in such a way as they 
consider helpful toward an easier delivery. 


Even while the newly born baby is being properly groomed and 
cared for by one of the women, the others, detailed to look after the 
parturiens, get busy helping her with expelling the afterbirth. 

Afterbirth: vDf'yaDo''', "that which has remained." 

Also: yDzo-'tVno''i, "it has had it in it." (This term is also used 
for "cocoon.") 

This is done by reciting a formula, and at the same time rubbing the 
patient's abdomen with the right hand, warmed near some charcoals, 
taken from the fire. (See p. 62.) 

A considerable amount of simples are also held to be highly effi- 
cacious in this case; the Ay. manuscript, unfortunately, does not 
contain a single formula or prescription for this emergency, but Ms. 
II has one formula and Ms. Ill one formula and three prescriptions. 
From these, and from oral information collected, it appears that the 
following plants are used: Ga'neGwa^h'ski v't'ano"' {Scutellaria 
lateriflora L., mad-dog, skull cap); Gano'yHi u'stf'ca, {Polymnia 
uvedalia L., leafcup). 

A decoction of the roots is drunk, after which the patient should 
induce vomiting. This decoction is also used as an emmenagogue. 

Another prescription lists "aU kinds of Ga'naowa^lt'ski." These 
plants are popular in this case more on account of their name, which 
means "it is like clotted blood," than for any other reason. 

Or again a decoction of the roots of Ga"^ltwo*'ti {Smilax glauca 
Walt., saw brier); noma' {Tsuga caroliniana Engelm., hemlock); 
k'vViyi;''sti (Platanus occidentalis L., buttonwood). 

The roots should be taken shooting out toward the east. They 
are boiled, and the decoction is drunk by the patient. 

The placenta is disposed of in the following way: The father, or 
should he be absent, another near relative, takes it, wrapped in some 
old cloth, and crosses (usually) two mountain ridges; there he makes 
a hole, an "overhand" (i. e., 25-30 cm.) deep, in which he buries 
the placenta; while doing this he whispers: 

k*a' t'a'^H tsi;D€'tiyQ-'°D8 fyo-'°Do° t'a'''h-ne-'° 't'nziGO^'a'o''' 

Now then! Two years from now again I will see it 

aGW€-'tsi "Well! I will want another child two years from now." 

my child 


Should the father be anxious to have another baby after one year 
he only crosses one mountain ridge, and should he want a child again 
only three or four years from then, he crosses the same number of 

While the father is on this errand he should be careful that nobody 
watches him, for should anybody want to harm him they will stealthily 
follow him, and when he has gone, either — 

(1) Dig up the placenta, bury it an arm deep and put four or seven 
stones on top of it before filling the earth in again. As a result of this 
action, never again will a baby be born to the victims. 

(2) They can dig up the placenta and throw it away in the open. 
In this case a chUd is liable to be born to these people just any 
time; in any case before the parents wish this to happen. 

The mother remains in a recumbent position for two to three days, 
or even less. After that, if no complications have set in, she is up 
and busy. In spite of the fact that she is supposed to be under 
restrictions for 12 or 24 days,^^ she attends to quite a number 
of her household duties. But she abstains from cooking, nor has she 
anything to do with the preparation of food, as anybody partaking of 
a meal prepared by her would become dangerously ill. 

She should not eat any fish the first couple of days after delivery, 
"because fish have cold blood, and they would therefore chill the 
blood that has still to come out of her, and would cause it to clot." 
Nor should she take any hot food, or any salt. (See p. 121.) During 
this taboo period the woman is as dangerous as during her pregnancy 
or her catamenial periods. 

The child is still now often given its name by one of the prominent 
old women of the settlement; possibly it used to be the chief woman of 
the clan who had the privilege of bestowing names on newly born 
infants, but this rule no longer obtains. As was pointed out in the 
previous pages, the child may be given its name even before it is bom. 
In those cases where partus is difficult a name is bestowed on the child 
so as to have something "material" by which to exercise an influence 
upon it. 

Old informants remember that in times gone by a child was endowed 
with its first name four or seven days after its birth. Mooney has 
left us a description of the ceremony in his "Cherokee River Cult," 
Journal of American Folk-Lore, 1900, page 2. 

To this first name another name could be substituted later on; 
this naine, that usually clung definitely to the individual for the rest 
of his life, was usually descriptive of one of his physical or moral 

^ One informant told me that he had heard that the usual taboo of 24 days 
could be reduced to 12 by drinking a decoction of certain simples. He did not 
know which ones, though. 

7548°— 32 10 


qualities, or reminiscent of one of his feats on the war path, while 
hunting, etc. 

Care for Child — Child Life 

The Cherokee are very fond of children and are far less loath to 
give vent to their affection than Indians are gcnerallj^ believed to be. 

There are now no special cradles, nor is there any distinctive 
dress for children. The first few weeks it may be merely swaddled 
in a bed sheet, and as it grows up it is astonishingly soon considered 
of age to wear the cast-off garments of its elders. I saw little boys 
and girls of 4 and 5 years old dressed for all the world like their 
fathers and mothers, and at the family we stayed with, a much 
dilapidated black felt hat was shared by a little fellow of 6 and his 
married brother of 25, who borrowed it as circumstances demanded. 

The child is always nourished with the mother's milk, unless it be 
brought up to be a witch (see p. 130), or if the mother's lactation is 
deficient; this is only rarely the case. If for any of these two reasons 
the mother does not nurse her child, it is brought up on the liquid 
part of k'a'no'e''no°, corn hominy. 

Very soon the young fellow adopts the fare of the grown-ups, and 
eats as they do the almost indigestible corn dumplings and the 
underdone venison. The results, it need hardly be said, are often 

There are various ways and means to help the child along with its 
growth, and to endow it with a fine physique as well as with aU kinds 
of enviable qualities: 

The very strong sinewy roots of Dt'stS,-yo°' (Tephrosia virginiana 
(L.) Pers.; goatsrue; catgut) are boiled and given to the child to 
drink to make it strong and muscular. 

It is given the eavesdrop, from where it falls in one continuous spout, 
to drink, so that it may be a fluent speaker. Tiiis belief is very prob- 
ably borrowed from the whites. 

The fleshy tubers of k'a'ntGu'tsa'ti {Lilium canadense L.; wdld yel- 
low lily) are boiled and the decoction is given to the child to drink; 
it is also bathed in it, the object of both actions being to make it 
fleshy and fat. Another plant put to the same use was the Aplectrum 
hiemale (putty root; Adam-and-Eve) (cf. Mooney, Myths, p. 427). 
Another means to "endow the children with the gift of eloquence" 
is indicated by Mooney, op. cit., p. 420. 

As a rule the child's hygienic condition is very bad indeed. I have 
known cases where infants who were born rosy, chubby little fellows 
had hardly made any progress two months or ten weeks after their 
birth, as they were literally being eaten up and worried to death by 
vermin and filth. There are, however, some fortunate exceptions, 
and some of the cleaner mothers take as much pride in their offspring 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 129 

as a trained white mother would, and with what scanty means they 
have at their disposal manage to make their babies look very clean 
and attractive little individuals. 

Remarkably soon after its birth, often when only three or four weeks 
old, the child is carried about, sitting astride of its mother's back, 
and kept safely in this position by the carrying cloth. 

As soon as it can crawl about it is left to its own resources and it 
starts out to discover the wonderful world. 

When little boys are four or five years old they are, under the super- 
vision of their father or elder brothers, making their first attempts at 
maldng bows and arrows and in a few weeks become remarkable 
marksmen. Little girls, at just as tender an age, fall into line and 
assist their mother and elder sisters with the household cares. 

The children as a rule are quite bright, and some really astounded 
me by their keen intellect. Jimmy, the little 6-year-old boy mentioned 
before, had only once seen the train of a lumber company working 
in the district. When he came home he collected the empty tins of 
salmon and of other canned goods we threw away, and with sticks and 
twigs built a bridge over a 4-feet-wide rill, laid ''tracks" on it, and 
with tins, sticks, and pebbles made the most reaUstic lumber train 
imaginable, the locomotive with funnel, the trucks loaded with 
"lumber," and all. 

When it comes to showing acquaintance and famiharity with their 
own culture these children are nothing short of marvelous. At the 
age of 7 or 8, they know more about their fauna and flora than an 
average university graduate who has not made natural history his 
specialty. They know the dance steps and songs, are experts at mak- 
ing current artifacts, and if they were tested, on a fair and equitable 
basis, as to their faculties for observation, and for using the knowledge 
acquired, I feel sure that as a whole they would score at least as 
high, and often higher than white children of the same age. 

The games played by the children are as a rule imitations of the 
occupations of the grown-ups — hunting and fishing, dancing, gam- 
bling, the ball game, etc. Swinging stands in high favor, and it is not 
sure that this was introduced by the whites, as an old informant told 
me that "the old people" used to get hold of a stout grapevine, se- 
curely entwined round the branches of a tall tree, on which, when cut 
off near the ground, they would swing to and fro. 

Further notes on games, which are not here called for, are withheld 
for publication elsewhere. 

Raising the Child to Become a Witch — Twins 

A few words are left to be added on the treatment to which are sub- 
jected the children destined by their parents to become "witches." 
(See p. 29.) 


This is alleged to be done especially with twins, ^ although a single- 
born baby could by the same means be brought up to become a 
witch , 

If twins are born, and theii- parents intend to make witches of 
them, no mother's milk is given them for 24 days (i. e., the taboo 
period for them other, see p. 127); they are to be fed with the Hquid 
portion of corn hominy, k^a'no'e-'no". This must be given them only 
during the night. Moreover, they are to be kept rigidly secluded from 
all visitors during the same 24 days' period. Some of these injunc- 
tions are strangely reminiscent of, and are no doubt related to, the 
Iroquois custom of concealing children imtil puberty ("down-fended" 
children, as J. N. B. Hewitt calls them), as practiced by the Onon- 
daga, Mohawk, and Seneca.^^ 

At the end of this period a decoction of the bark of k'alo''Gwo" 
Df'Dawt'skaGe'"' {Rhus glabra L., smooth sirniac), is drunk by the 
mother, "to make her milk flow abundantly," and from then on- 
ward she nurses the children: the result has been obtained. 

As to the power of these twin witches, the most astonishing asser- 
tions are made. Not only do they not stop at flying through the 
air or diving under the ground, but they can even walk on the sunrays. 
They can take all human or animal shapes conceivable. 

Even when they are only a month old, "whatever they think 
happens." If they are lying on the ground in their swaddlings, and 
crying for hunger, and their mother should happen to be eating, and 
wishes to finish her meal before attending to them, her food will 
become undone (i. e., raw) again, and the food of all those that happen 
to be eating with her. 

If their mother is cooking a meal while they cry for her, and she 
does not heed them, the food she is preparing will never get done. 

When they have grown to be urchins, and happen to be playmg 
outside, all of a sudden they will come scampering in, asking for food ; 
if theii" mother says the food isn't ready yet, it will never get done. 
But if she gives it to them straightw^ay, even if she had only just 
put it on the fire, it is ready to be eaten as soon as she hands it to 

They often go and play with the "Little People." 

They can see the Little People, and talk with them, though we 
can not. 

But wherever they go, and however long a time they are absent, 
their parents are never anxious on their accoimt, knowing as they do 
that they can take care of themselves. 

" It is immaterial whether they are of the same sex or not. 
«5 Cf. Hewitt, Iroquoian Cosmology, pp. 142, 252; Hewitt, Seneca Fiction, Leg- 
ends, and Myths, pp. 510, 810. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 131 

When they are grown up they are most annoying individuals; 
they always know what you think, and you could not possibly mislead 
them. And what is worse, they can make you ill, dejected, lovesick, 
dying, merely by thinking you in such a condition. 

A boy of twdns, so reared, is a most successful hunter; he never fails 
or misses ; not only does he get the kind of game or fish he wants, but 
he always bags the finest specimens and the choicest morsels to be 

A girl in this condition is expert at aU woman's work and industries. 
^Vlien she is preparing a meal she has but to think it is done and 
immediately it is ready to be eaten. Nor do such tasks as making 
baskets or gathering nuts, wild fruits, or vegetables mean any exertion 
to her. 

If twins have completed their 24 days' seclusion they are more than 
a match for anything or anybody. The only means of preventing 
the calamity of the community being annoyed by such a couple of 
"undesirables" is to thwart their bringing up. 

Og. told me that he "learned that a family were bringing up their 
twins to become witches. This was going to mean a lot of trouble 
for the settlement, so I got a menstrual woman to cook some food, and 
managed to slip it to the infants, without the guardians suspecting 
it. By so doing I 'spoiled' them, and they were never any more 
witch than you or I." 

I asked him why it was necessary to go to so much trouble and 
danger to obtain this result; could he not have waited until after 
the 24 days' period, when he would have been able to reach the 
children much more easily? "Then it would have been too late," 
he said. "You see, by that time, they would have the full power of 
witches, and they would Imow that the food had been prepared by a 
woman in such a condition. They know what you think." 

These people are certainly very consistent in what they believe. 


As a sick person shows signs of losing ground, of becoming weak 
and despondent, of losing all interest in life, his relatives do not try 
to hide, neither to each other nor to the patient, their apprehension as 
to a fatal outcome. The care is doubled, the medicine man in charge 
of the treatment may be dismissed and another one may be intrusted 
with combating the disease; increasing attention is given to the 
"guard and the watch against witches." 

The possibilities and probabilities, the ultimate outcome of the 
affair, are frequently made the subject of conversation between the 


patient and his friends. According to the sufferer's personal outlook 
on life, his attitude may be one of utter listlessness and resignation or 
one of hope and confidence. 

In the first case he will repeatedly express to those who attend to 
him that they need not go to any further trouble; that he feels he is 
"going out west," u'so'^fyi', or to the settlements where the dead 
people live, tsu'scmo'H. At this stage, and with this kind of patients, 
dreams are frequent, in which he sees some departed friend or relative, 
a deceased wife, his mother, etc., beckoning him to come and join 
them in the ghost land. 

With those who have been Christianized to some extent, of whom 
there are only a few, this vision is often modeled on a Christian 
pattern: They see "our Father" calling them and telling them it is 
time for them to come and join Him. 

Reference should also be made to visions, wliich the people em- 
phatically deny to be dreams or hallucinations, but which they 
pronounce to be "real happenings," where the moribund sees himself 
setting out upon the journey toward the ghosts' country, but, upon 
arrival there, finds his presence undesired by the ghosts, and is sent 
back to his people. This vision is invariably interpreted as an omen 
of recovery. (See p. 142.) 

As stated before, the sick man's attitude may, however, be com- 
pletely different; he may feel loath to quit his settlement and his 
people, and will tell them very outspokenly that he does not yet 
want to leave them. He will himself entice them to double their 
efforts, to try some other means, some different methods of curing. 
If he is a medicine man, he Avill himself take charge and direction of 
the treatment, will send messengers to medicine men of his acquain- 
tance, asking them to send along fonnulas and directions ^\'ith which 
to cure him. 

The people themselves do not attach any value or meaning to this 
state of mind, as is often done in some primitive and even in civilized 
communities, where it is considered an axiom that a man does not 
die as long as he gives proof of pronounced vitality, of interest in life, 
of attachment to all things earthly, such as are described above. 

Definite and certain data as to the outcome of the iUness, as to 
whether the patient wUl live or die, can always be obtained by means 
of divinatory methods, the most usual in this case being the "examina- 
tion vvith the beads." 

The medicine man holds a black bead between thumb and index 
finger of the left hand, a white or red bead between forefinger and 
thumb of the right hand, and, reciting an appropriate formula, ex- 
amines what are the chances of the sick man. The more vitality the 
bead in the right hand shows, the greater are the chances for recovery. 

Olb°rechts] 'THE SWIMMER MANtJSCRlPT 133 

This ceremony need not necessarily be performed at the patient's 
bedside, as may be seen from the description given of the typical cur- 
ing procedure, page 67. 

It is furthermore alleged of some powerful medicine men that they 
can prophesy the exact day of their death, and that they will take 
care themselves of the preparation of all objects that will be needed to 
lay out their corpse. This was reputed to have been done by old 
man Ax (see p. 88), and also Mooney cites a case of it in his Myths. 
This ability of foretelling their death these medicine men are said to 
possess by virtue of their keeping the wIS^'^sudo"' stone. 

Apart from the divination methods proper, where the future is 
being inquired into by active means, and apart from the very rare 
cases where a medicine man foretells his own death, there are some 
signs and omens of death which are common knowledge. Some of 
these have without doubt been borrowed from the whites. (See p. 

When you are fishing, and you see a small fish rolling over and over 
in the water, dying, it is a sign one of your relatives is going to die. 

If a tree is falling over near you, without any apparent cause, as a 
storm, lightning, etc. 

If you hear something in the graveyard. 

If you hear a dog howling dismally. 

If one of your hens crows. 

If at night a screech owl comes and perches near the house. 

As it becomes apparent that no recovery is to be expected the 
relatives are summoned, not only those living at the settlement 
where the man is dying, but also those from other localities, even if 
they be two or three days distant. Also friends, whom the moribimd 
may express a desire to see, are summoned. 

As the end approaches the medicine man may make a last effort to 
turn the scales, by trying the cure for the illness generally referred 
to as Ga'kw€'no°'*ski, "if it wraps them up" (apoplexy). As it 
becomes clear that all hope is to be abandoned the moribund is made 
to partake of as square a meal as possible, "to strengthen him for 
the long journey he is about to undertake toward the Night Land." 

One informant who had often been present at the decease of old 
people said that it was a custom for them, as they felt their end 
approaching, "to talk to their people, and tell them to love one 
another, and to love even their enemies." 

Nothing that is needed to lay out the corpse should be prepared 
before the man has breathed his last, as "by doing this we would 
show that we are anxious for him to go." 

As soon as the breathing stops the sufferer is pronounced dead, 
feeling the pulse or listening for the beating of the heart being un- 


known. The moment the moribund dies some one of the relatives 
or friends present says: a^'skwuDfca' (i. e., "he has ended"). 

In referring to the event a couple of hours after, the expression 
Go!i' ayo'*y*i' ("he was lost just now ") is used; whereas the next day 
one says vyo'*i;so°' ("he has been lost"). 

Between Death and Burial 

As soon as the moribund breathes his last a relative — usually a male 
member of the family, as the father, the husband, or a brother- 
forces the legs of the corpse down to a straight position and lays the 
arms in sach a position that the upper arms lie along the body, the 
forearms over the stomach, one hand lying over the other on the 
abdomen; it is immaterial which hand lies on top. 

It is usually a female relative — a wife, a mother, or a sister — who 
closes the eyes and ties a (usually white) kerchief round the face and 
under the chin to prevent the jaw from dropping. 

Then the body is washed. This is done by members of the same 
sex as the deceased, but never by relatives. Relatives do not take 
any part whatever in preparing the body for burial, or in disposing 
of the corpse, apart from closing the eyes, straightening the hmbs, 
and tying the kerchief round the face. 

The corpse is dressed in the best clothes that are available, and that 
must not necessarily have belonged to the succumbed person; a 
brother, a sister, a friend may bring as a present a particularly fine 
neckerchief, or even a valued coat or skirt, according to the sex of the 
deceased, to dress the corpse in. 

A new hat, a new pair of shoes, a silver or gold trinket, are objects 
which people are especially fond of dressing the corpse vdih. A de- 
ceased woman is often given her favorite cup or saucer along \\dth 
her. These are never "killed." 

No food is put into the cofhn with adults, but into that of babies 
a bottle of milk is placed. 

If a woman dies immediately after parturition, and her baby dies 
with her, the baby is placed in the right arm of the mother in the 

On the breast of the corpse of an adult of either sex a little vessel 
(a cup or a glass) of salt is placed. (PI. 9, 6.) Of this custom not one 
Cherokee can explain the reason; some vaguely hint that the salt 
serves the purpose of preventing the flesh from decaying. This ex- 
planation, however, as well as the custom itself, seems to me so foreign 
to the Cherokee mind that I am inclined to see in this a borrowing 
from the whites, either directly from traders, settlers, or mountaineers, 
or through the mediacy of negro slaves. (Cf. Bucket, pp. 83, 87.) 

There are indications that in former times it was customary to 
bury with the deceased some of the property belonging to him. A 

Olbrkhts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 135 

case was cited by one informant: When he was a boy (about 50 years 
ago) the members of the tribe were still drawing an annual pension of 
$50 in gold from the Government. Once a girl died and it happened 
that her annual pension arrived the same day. Her mother insisted 
that the golden coins be buried with her in the coffin. And so it was 

The body is not put into the coffin until two or three hours before 
burial. Prior to this the corpse, all dressed up, is laid on wooden 
boards (pi. 9, 6) in a sfightly slanting position, the head being raised 
about 60 centimeters, the feet about 30 centimeters above the ground, 
A sheet is thrown over the body, covering it completely. Whenever 
anyone comes in to see the corpse the sheet is thrown back from the 
face (pi. 9, b); the visitor just looks at the face for a few minutes; 
he neither addresses it nor touches it; he then goes away without 

The body is kept in the house two or three days. From myths, 
traditions, and hazy recollections of some of the medicine men, it 
would appear that this period used to be a longer one — possibly seven 
days— in former times, but now the Government officials do not per- 
mit so long a delay. 

While the corpse is still in the house, relatives, friends, and neigh- 
bors gather during the nights and in turn half of their number watch 
and sometimes sing, while the others sleep. 

Of this watching the meaning is now lost, but the object of it must 
originally have been to prevent the witches from coming and "stealing 
the liver" of the corpse. 

As for the singing, aboriginal dirges seem to have been completely 
lost, and when any singing is done at all some Cherokee Christian 
hymn (cf. Cherokee hymn book) is sung. The hymn selected de- 
pends solely on the repertory at the command of the gathering. 

If this singing takes place, men as well as women may join in it. 

After the death of a member of the settlement, no winter provisions, 
preserves, etc., are to be touched for four (others say for seven) days. 
As soon as it is known that a death has occurred provisions are im- 
mediately to be prepared for four (or seven) days, so that they do 
not have to be touched for that period; since provisions, if they are 
not let alone for the first few days following a death, "will be exhausted 
in no time." 

Attention may once again be drawn to the purificatory rite observed 
by the medicine man who was in charge of the patient before his 
death. (See p. 103.) 

The coffin is made by two men acting under a foreman. This 
"company" is elected for the term of a year, at the same time as the 
"grave-digging company" (cf. infra) and the chief of the settlement 
(see p. 80). 


The election is a very unofficial affair, the members generally being 
volunteers. The foreman, and if necessary one of the two members, 
if there are no volunteers, are nominated, and usually, ipso facto, 
elected. The chief of this company at the time of my stay was 
yo-'nuGQ-'ski (''bear coming out of the water"). (PI. 10, b.) 

The coffin is made of roughly he\\Ti boards or planks and its shape 
shows unmistakable traces of white influence; it is sometimes covered 
with black cloth, nailed down by tacks. 

The office of "coffin maker" seems to be on the verge of extinction, 
as I have known cases where they did not display any activity what- 
ever. No particular cause could be indicated for this abstention, the 
reason being merely that a half-blood member of the tribe had vol- 
unteered for the job, and as he was a good carpenter, and did not 
charge anything, his services were readily accepted by all concerned. 


As soon as it is known that someone has died, the head man of the 
"grave-digging company" is notified; he, in turn, gives notice to his 
helpers, and the same day or the next day the grave is dug. 

The gravediggers are a company of six volunteers acting under a 
chief; the latter office at the time of my stay being held by one 
Gi;la*'ci. They also are appointed for a year, and are elected in the 
same manner as the coffin makers (cf. supra). 

A medicine man should never serve as a member of either of these 
companies, nor should he ever give assistance in anything pertaining 
to the laying out or burying of a corpse; he should not wash it, nor 
help to carry it to the grave, nor help to dig the grave. 

Were he to disregard any of these injunctions he would never 
again be able to cure or to exert any of his other activities. 

If the wife of a member of the coffin-making or of the grave-digging 
squad is with child he should desist from helping his fellows, as other- 
wise his child would be stillborn. Nor should any one help to pre- 
pare the coffin or the grave of a deceased member of his own family, 
as already stated (p. 134). 

The cemetery is usually situated along the slope of a hill. No 
other reason for this custom is given but this one: That it prevents 
the soil and the people buried in it from being washed awa}^, or becom- 
ing swamped, as would be the case if burial places were chosen in 
the lowlands. There is no preference, when choosing the site for a 
new graveyard, for either the "dark" or the "sunny" side of the 
mountain, which play so prominent a role in the Cherokee sacred 

The burial usuall}^ takes place between midday and "when the 
sun roosts on the mountain" (about 4 p. m.), i. e., about 2 p, m. 

SiecIts] the swimmer manuscript 137 

But as early as 10 a. m. the people of the settlement are assembling 
at the cabin of the deceased. Those who have not yet seen the corpse 
may go inside and look at it, to join afterwards those who have not 
entered the house and who have remained outside, squatting on the 
ground, or sitting on logs; as is usual at all Cherokee social gather- 
ings, the women keep apart, and do not sit down, but keep standing 
in a group, some 20 or 30 feet away from the men. 

It struck me that the women hardly talk, even among themselves, 
whereas the men did not seem to take matters quite so seriously, 
and they smoke and talk, and even joke in subdued tones. 

All the people of the settlement, men, women and children, are 
present, unless prevented by serious illness, or by some other major 
impediment. Also from the near-by settlements many friends and 
all the relatives, however distant, are present. 

The relatives go inside and sit on boards— improvised benches — 
and hardly speak a word. Female relatives do not try to hide their 
sorrow, but do not wail, or in any way give proof of frantic grief. 
It is rare to see a man weep. 

An hour or so before the corpse is to be taken away a native preacher 
may come, whether the deceased professed to be a Christian or not, 
read some chapter of the Cherokee translation of the New Testament, 
and deliver a long speech, addressing the deceased, and stressing the 
main facts of his life. 

At a sign of the chief of the coffin makers, four men will start hunt- 
ing around for two stout poles or strong boards on which the coffin 
is put to be carried, and the funeral procession starts. There is not 
the sHghtest ceremonial as regards this. Five or ten men may step 
briskly in front or alongside of the coflfin, and behind it a medley of 
men and women in groups, in no definite order, jostling each other, 
pushing and hurrying, even if there is nothing to jostle or to hurry 

Every 200 yards or so the chief of the cofiin makers, who now 
acts as a kind of "master of ceremonies," shouts out: am'so'i' no-"- 
Gwb^' ("other ones now"), and four other men, not necessarily 
belonging to this company, come out of the crowd and take the places 
of the coffin carriers. 

The coffin is now usually carried as described above : On two poles 
or small beams, carried by four men, two on each side, not on their 
shoulders, but at arm's length. 

Another way of carrying the corpse, and which may be older, but 
which is now disappearing, is to hang the coffin by two chains from 
a long pole, which is carried by two men on the shoulders. This 
device is still used in the lowland settlements where the cemetery is 
at some distance ; in this case the coffin is transported by an ox-drawn 
wagon, but on the wagon it is fixed in such a way as to be hanging by 


two chains from a pole laid horizontally and lengthwise across the 

When the cemetery is reached the coffin is put down near the 
grave which has been dug in the meanwhile by the "grave-digging 
company." A Christian hymn is sung in Cherokee, or maybe in 
Enghsh,^^ by a couple of men or women present; this again is not 
determined by the sex of the deceased, but depends merely on who 
is able and wdlling to sing. 

The "preacher" again says a few words, bidding good-by to the 
departed one. Before being lowered, the coffin is opened and the 
cover laid back so that only the face of the corpse can be seen. Every- 
body passes by the coffin to cast a last look on it. The nearest rela- 
tives — father, mother, wife, children — pass first ;^^ when the last 
person present has passed by the cover is nailed down definitely and the 
coffin is lowered into the grave. The grave is dug and the coffin is 
lowered into it in such a way that the head lies toward the west. 
The grave is immediately filled, and those present climb down the 
hill in different directions, all the people but the relatives of the 
deceased going to their respective homes. 

After Burial 

Immediately after the burial the nearest relatives of the deceased, 
i. e., the members of his household, have to go to the river, accom- 
panied by the priest, who recites a prayer to purify them. If, for some 
reason, this ceremony is not performed immediately, before the 
family has gone home, it may be performed the following day; but in 
this case, one purification is not held to be sufficient, and the ceremony 
is repeated every morning for four days. The formula recited on this 
occasion is the same as the one used when "going to water" every new 
moon; white cloth and beads are also used, and the officiating medicine 
man also chews "old tobacco," the juice of which he sprays from his 
mouth into the necks of the members of the party, who stand facing 
the water. 

Not one member of the household must go out for a period of four 
days (some say seven days, which is probably the older and more 
correct belief) for "anything which is not strictly necessary." Such 
essential duties as cutting wood for firewood, hunting for the daily 
sustenance, etc., are not prohibited, but there is to be no visiting 
of neighbors, no partaking in social functions, as the ball game, a 
dance, etc. 

The belief prevails that whatever is done by the members of the 
household during the four days of this period wiU be done by them for 

^8 "Nearer, my God, to Thee," was sung at one funeral I witnessed. 
8' Unless a woman with child be present. (See p. 121.) 


the rest of their Hves; i. e., if they attend only to the real necessities of 
life they will forever after be dutiful and reliable in whatever their 
occupation may be. The men will be smart, well-providing sons and 
husbands; the women alert and solicitous wives and mothers; whereas, 
were any of them to go out and gossip, or otherwise join in " unneces- 
sary " phases of social life he would for the rest of his life be a fickle 
rake or a heedless hussy. 

As soon as the family gets home from the burial, or from the subse- 
quent ceremony at the river's edge, the new fire is started, after all the 
old ashes have been taken outside and scattered about the yard. In 
olden time this fire was no doubt kindled from the sacred communal 
fire of the council house; now the more modern match is used, although 
I have known cases where flint and punk were still resorted to. 

The cabin is smoked with pine branches, burned in a cooking vessel ; 
pine branches are also thrown on the rekindled hearth fire; according 
to some of the people, "the smell of the pine takes all away that has 
been left of death and disease." Pines, as all evergreens, are con- 
sidered by the Cherokee to have eternal lives, and are therefore most 
fit to avert death and destruction. 

Originally, not only the house where the death occurred had to be 
smoked in this fashion, but each and every house of the settlement. 
This custom is now rapidly falling into oblivion, but I still noticed, 
during my stay, that all those who had been taking any part in the 
care of the deceased, before and after his death, went through this 
purification rite with scrupulous care. 

Old traditions and references to it in myths and tales establish 
beyond doubt that long ago, seven days after the burial a dance took 
place at which every member of the deceased's household and all the 
people of the settlement were present. This dance seems to have 
served the double purpose of speeding the spirit on its journey ^^ and 
of diverting the sorrowing relatives. Such a dance is referred to in 
" The Daughter of the Sun " myth (Mooney, Myths, p. 254) and also 
in a tale collected by me, but yet unpublished. 

It can not now be stated whether at these dances any special songs 
were sung, but if we can trust tradition on this point it would appear 
that those dances and songs were selected which would best suit the 
purpose of amusing the mourners present; it was thought that if they 
reaUy enjoyed themselves on this occasion there was no fear that they 
would pine away with grief; but if the entertainers failed in their pur- 
pose the future looked gloomy and threatening for the mourners. 

There is no visiting of graves after the burial; to do so would 
bring bad luck. This is easy to imderstand, if we recall the Cherokee 

"* The ghost of the deceased lingers 7 daj's around the settlement before pro- 
ceeding on its journey "out west" (see p. 142), 


[Bull. 99 

belief, that thinking or dreaming of departed ones spoils the saliva, 
thus resulting in an uncanny but severe illness. 

Likewise, if ever the small mound of earth which is piled up over a 
grave is scattered by rain or wind it should never be replaced. For 
"this would show us to be anxious for the other living persons to die 
and go to the graveyard." 

However much this may remind us of a belief of the whites ®^ there 
is no reason to suspect its influence on this Cherokee custom, as it is 
quite in keeping with their traditions and views on this subject. The 
basis of it is clear: Thinking or even dreaming of departed relatives is 
a symptom of a disease, sent by the a^msor'na or ghosts, and results in 
our saliva being spoiled, thus causing an uncanny but deadly illness. 
Any of our actions susceptible of stirring up our sorrow and affliction 
will, of course, again focus our attention on our loss and will make us 
despondent and abject, i. e., will make us ill. 

This belief is still strongly, though often subconsciously, adhered to. 
Some half-bloods tried to prevail on their friends to tend the graves 
and keep them in a clean and nicely groomed condition as the white 
people do. They were successful for some years, the graveyard being 
cleared and hoed once a year (usually the first few days of August). 
But the aversion to this "unhealthy" work prevailed, and at the time 
of my visit this custom had not been observed for three years. 

Not only is there no visiting of graves but the graveyard is shunned 
and avoided as much as possible, especially at night. There is an 
additional reason for this^ — the graveyard is constantly haunted by 
witches, who as soon as a new burial has taken place swoop down on 
the grave, exhume the corpse, and eat its liver. 


Again and again in these pages it has been stressed how much of 
aboriginal belief and practice has broken down. On many problems 
which at one time must have been the subject of keen contemplation 
and of shrewd speculation, the present-day views of the people — and 
to but little less degree of the medicine men — are so hazy and confused 
that it reqiures a great deal of patience and much painstaking effort 
to gain any information on them ; and great caution is to be taken when 
it comes to sifting, classifying, and interpreting this material. 

This state of affairs is keenly realized when we endeavor to study 
the Cherokee conceptions regarding the soul and its survival. 

88 "It is bad to disturb an old grave, as by putting up a tombstone; you will thus 
herald a death." (Bergen, Current Superstitions, p. 133, No. 1265.) 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 141 


It will help our purpose materially if we briefly examine the different 
semantic values of the stem -y-DaN't,^° which we find in the word for 

aDa^N^to' Soul; mind; disposition. 

GaDa'^notua' I am thinldng. 

oGwaDa^N!t*€tua' I am astonished. 

aGwaDa^N^t'eta^ n^rji' I doubted it. 

o'sfyu*' a^GWaDa^NHat9"'r)i I rejoice. 

uDa'N'tfyu' He is of a friendly disposition. 

This shows how prolific has been the activity of this stem, such 
concepts as thinking, feeUng, being conditioned, being disposed, being 
in a certain state of mind, and, in the ritual language, even "causing," 
all being rendered by it. 

This points to a semantic evolution which is very similar to that of 
the Latin "animus." 

Soul and mind are almost synonymous to the Cherokee. They are 
at least two closely related manifestations of the same principle. 
"Our soul has its seat in our heart (my heart: act'^^na^u'). What 
we think starts in our heart, and the heart sends our mind out." 
Our heart is the broadcasting station, might be a veiy free but all the 
more correct version. 

It is not possible to find any definite opinions as to whether the 
name, the shadow, or anv other part of the individual is considered a 
part of his soul, or in exactly what relation they stand to a person. 
There can, however, hardly be any doubt but that the name, the 
shadow, the liver, the crown of the head, or perhaps a particular hair^ 
or a particular lock (the scalp lock?) on the crown of the head, all 
were once believed to be intimately associated with the soul, either 
as parts of it or as abiding places for it. 

The soul does not leave the body during sleep or dreams. Nor is 
sickness caused by absence of the soul; but certain psj'-chopathological 
states are ascribed to this fact; the condition of utter despondency 
brought about by an enemy "worldng" against you is caused by 
nothing else but the fact that he has gotten hold of your soul, and has 
buried it "out west," in the Night Land. This does not necessarily 
mean instant death; it rarely does. You may live without your soul 
for quite a number of months, and slowly pine away; this is what 
happens if you can not successfully counteract the influence of your 

Acute cases of lovesickness, homesickness, melancholy, and dejec- 
tion are also usually explained in this way. 

No definite notion is entertained as to the origin of souls. 

™ When the vowel becomes lengthened the nasal become!? voiced, and is fol- 
lowed by an obscure vowel. 



At death the soul leaves the body and becomes a ghost (asor'na). 
It travels to the ghost country (tsu'sGmo!'i), in the Night Land 
(u'so'^ryi'), in the west, in seven days. 

It does not haunt the settlements, nor the burial places, nor does 
it ever return. Some informants are not so sure as to this: they claim 
that the ghosts sometimes return, viz, when they come to make 
people ill, or to come and fetch them before they die, to show them 
the way to the ghost country. These opinions, however, I am inclined 
to consider as individual beliefs, based chicfij'" on dreams and personal 

In the Night Land the ghost people live exactly according to the 
native pattern; they live in settlements, have chiefs and councils, 
clans and families (everybody who dies goes and joins the relatives 
who have preceded him); they go hunting and fishing, have ball 
games and dances, etc. 

There does not seem to exist any differentiation based upon moral 
conduct in this life, the Cherokee believing that morality is to be 
obsen^ed for its own sake, without hope of recompense or fear of 
punishment in the next life. These conceptions are now slowly being 
superseded by hazy beliefs influenced by Christian eschatology. 

Some interesting facts on this score are being revealed by dreams, 
which indicate that some kind of a differentiation must once have 
been beUeved in, of which people now have lost all recollection. 

One informant (W.) told me his mother (Ayo.) was wont to tell 
him of the following experience of hers: 

Shortly after the Civil War the Cherokee were visited with smallpox. 
She was one of the many stricken, and she died (sic); she went along 
a road and came to a settlement where the people lived who had died ; 
as she traveled on she came to another settlement, the chief of which 
had been a chief in his lifetime; she had known him. The chiefs held 
a council about her and decided that she could not come and Uve 
with them yet. They sent her back. So she walked back to where 
she lived. She recovered from the smaUpox. "And it was not a 
dream either," the informant added. 

Another, far more interesting experience was told by the individual 
to whom it happened, T. (PL 10, c.) He relates it as follows: 

About 37 years ago he was very ill; all his relatives expected him 
to die, and they had gathered by his bedside. He became uncon- 
scious; it seemed to him as if he fell asleep. The people who were 
with him told him later that he actually died ; he did not breathe for 
half an hour. 

It seemed to him as if he got up from his bed, walked out of the 
cabin, and started traveling along a path. He climbed to the top of 
a mountain, where suddenly he saw a beautiful plain, a meadow. 


ctretched out in front of him. The grass was of a fine green color, 
and felt very soft and nice to walk upon. 

Soon he saw a building; he entered, and found it filled with children, 
some of them mere babies, and none of them any older than about 
12 years. He asked them where the chief lived; they told him, the 
chief lived in the fourth building, and that, if he wished to see him, 
he had but to walk through the opened doors of the three first buildings. 

He went through the second building and the third, and found 
these likewise filled with people, both men and women, but all of 
them older than the children he had seen at the first place. 

As he came to the fourth building he found the door locked; he 
asked several times for admittance, "Chief, open the door for me." 
As he asked it the fourth time he heard somebody inside turn round 
on his chair; then he went in. 

There was a white man, very old, with a long white beard, sitting 
at a desk. He did not even look up at the visitor, and shook hands 
with him wdthout even turning round. He said: "Well, have you 
come to live with us?" T. said he had, upon which the man at the 
desk turned roimd, reached for a big account book and a pen, and 
made ready to wi'ite T.'s name in the book. But all of a sudden he 
bethought himself: "I think you had better go back home again." 
he said; "you will come back here again 33 days from now; then 
you will come to stay, and then we will ^vrite your name in the book." 
He closed the book and put it away. 

He opened a trapdoor and gave T. a small disk-like object, like a 
thin sheet of tin, about the size of a silver dollar, and said: "You 
had better hold this in your hand, to find your way," 

After that T. felt himself, still sitting on his chair, drop through 
the trapdoor, and falling at a terrific speed, the air rushing past him 
as if it were a windstorm; he soon landed on the top of a mountain 
near his settlement; he threw the little disk in front of him and it 
started rolling in the direction of his home; he followed it, went into 
the cabin, where he found his friends and relatives still gathered, and 
stretched himself out on his couch; he then opened his eyes, and 
found everybody very much relieved, as they had been watching him 
carefully, and had thought him to be dead. 

In both these cases, "the different settlements," the "four different 
buildings," must surely have some definite meaning. In T.'s account 
there would appear to be a difterentiation according to age, but this 
I suspect to be influenced by ill-digested evangelization, as another 
informant told me once that "all children under 12 years of age who 
die are happy; under 12 they do not know what is wrong." 

Incidentally, I want to draw attention to a rather humorous side 
of T.'s account: The whole of his visit with God, in an office, with 
7548°— 32 11 


books and stationery all around, and the host's way of receiving his 
visitor (not answering his knocking, not looking up as he comes in, 
not even to shake hands, etc.), all this is strongly reminiscent of the 
reception accorded "Injuns" at some of the agency offices. This 
experience, it should be noted, was dreamed nearly 40 years ago. 

I might finally state that the social status of this life is not modified 
in the next, chiefs remaining chiefs; medicine men, medicine men; etc. 

Using such expressions as "this life" and "next life" is not quite 
doing justice to Cherokee conceptions; they look upon life and after- 
life as different lives in space, rather than as successive lives in time. 
They do not, as a Christian would put it, live a mortal life, and an 
eternal life after that, but they move from their settlement in the 
Great Smokies to the "place out west." They speak of the people 
out west as they would of a neighboring tribe, as the Creeks, or even 
as they would of a Cherokee settlement some "overnights" away. 


Suicides, although not unknown, are very rare. The motives of 
the few cases that have come to my attention are the general human 
ones — to be suffering from an illness which is reputed incurable and 
love troubles seeming to be the two main causes. 

A suicide always causes a tremendous commotion; but no special 
beliefs are connected with it, nor with the ghost of the victim. The 
burial takes place as usual. 

Even old informants could not remember more than three cases of 
suicide ; all the cases were men. Two shot themselves and one stran- 
gled himself with a rope. 

Tragical Deaths 

Another kind of death which arouses local interest and comment, 
and which is handed down to posterity along with the traditional 
lore and the sacred myths, is that resulting from accident, especially 
if it is accompanied by some uncanny details. 



There are two ways in which both laity and specialists refer to the 
sacred and medicinal formulas and the knowledge they contain. 

If one medicine man wants to broach the subject to one of his 
compeers, with a view of discussing their mutual knowledge, he says: 
Go'u'sti 't'kt*a*9-'.i, i. e., "What do you know?"; and of a medicine 
man who is reputed well versed in this lore, the lay community says : 
akt'a'*fyu', i. e., "he knows a great deal." 

Olbeechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 145 

Just as, to quote an interesting parallel, the sacred literature in 
Sanskrit is referred to as "veda," a term which is etymologically con- 
nected with the Indo-European stem >/-wid-, "to know."^^ 

Incidentally it is interesting to draw attention to the fact that the 
root of Cherokee a'kt'a^a', i. e., "he knows." is \/-kt^- the original 
meaning of which is "to see"; cf. "eye": aktV. 

The same semantic evolution has taken place in the Indo-European 
languages, where the comm.-Gennanic ^/-^vit-, "to know," and the 
Latin uideo, "I see," are both derived from the same Indo-European 
stem \/-wid-. If now we go a step further, and see what a peculiar 
meaning this stem has acquired in Sanskrit: "veda" = "the thing 
known "> "the knowledge" viz, "the sacred knowledge," we find the 
same evolution in meaning as we have in Cherokee. 

Another term used, again both by the medicine men and by 
the uninitiated, is Go'Ve'li'. 

The present meaning of this is "paper," "book," "that which has 
been written," as the fonnulas are usually kept jotted down in the 
Sequoya syllabary by the medicine men. It is clear from this that 
this name must be of comparatively modern origin, as it could of 
course not have been applied to them prior to the invention of the 
syllabary by Sequoya in 1821. 

This term again throws an interesting light on the psychological 
principles underlying the semantic evolution in languages even so 
different and separated from each other in time and place to such an 
extent as modern Iroquois and the older Germanic dialects. The 
meaning "to write" of the Cherokee -yZ-we'l- is comparatively recent: 
It can not be much older than 200 years. Originally it meant "to 
mark," and especially "to mark wood by burning designs on it," a 
technique still in use among the Cherokee to mark the flat wooden 
dice used in gambling. 

As for its parallel in the Germanic dialects, we have but to remember 
that our "book" traces its origin to "beech (tree)" (cf. Anglo-Saxon 
"boc," i. e., "beech tree"; "book." Old High German "buohha," 
i. e., "beech tree"). Beech boards, beech bark, and stencils made of 
beech wood were used by both Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic peoples 
as writing material.'^^ So we see the material used, beech, assume 
the meaning of "a writing," "a collection of writings" (book), and the 
latter meaning has again evolved to that of "the collection of sacred 
lore" (cf. the Book, i. e., the Bible). 

^^ Cf. also Kroesch, Samuel: "The semasiological development of words for 
'perceive,' 'understand,' 'think,' 'know' in the older Germanic dialects." Diss. 
Chicago, 1911. Repr. from "Mod. Phil." VIII, No. 4, Chicago, 1911. 

'2 That also to the Italic herdsmen this use of the beech was not unknown, 
appears from Vergil's Eclogue, V 13: "Carmina quae nuper in viridi cortice fagi 


Even though these two terms are commonly known and readily 
understood, the fonner is but seldom used now, and the latter hardly 
any more. Usually the formulas are referred to by a specific name, 
which immediately makes it clear what kind is meant, as "What do 
you know about curing?" or "Have you any papers for the purpose of 
killing (a man)? " These difi'erent names are fisted below (see p, 148), 
where they are discussed in detail. 


As to the origin of the sacred formulas and songs, the laity are now 
almost ignorant. The medicine men themselves are graduaUy losing 
the accounts made of it in the myths, and to a question, "Where have 
we the knowledge of aU these formulas from," they wiU at first super- 
ficially answer: "We know them from the people who fived a long 
tune ago." This locution is even appended as ending clause to some 
of the formulas and prescriptions, and it is closely aldn to a stereo- 
typed exordium used by some informants when telling a tale: "A long 
time ago, this is what the people told who lived then." 

On pushing scrutiny somewhat further, the older infonnants wiU 
vaguely remember some accounts of the origin of the bear songs and 
of the sacred and medicinal formulas; it is most fortunate indeed that 
James Mooney left us such an excellent account of these myths. (See 
Mooney, Myths, p. 248, for the origin of the deer songs; p. 319 for 
medicine and hunting songs; p. 325 for the origin of the bear songs.) 

These myths were collected about 40 years ago and it would now 
be utterly impossible to find a Cherokee living who could give such a 
complete account of them. 

I should not neglect to mention that sporadically a medicine man 
will attribute the Cherokee's knowledge of formulas and prescriptions 
to a revelation of une-'tlano'H, the Apportioner, who, in this case, must 
undoubtedly be identified as God, the Creator, as preached by Chris- 
tian missionaries. The same man on another occasion will tell you, 
with just as honest a conviction, that "the people inherited the knov/1- 
edge from a powerful wizard when be died," referring to Stone-clad 's 
death. (Cf. Mooney, Myths, p. 320.) 


Before going into details as to the different lands of formulas used 
by the Cherokee it may not be out of place to draw attention to a 
sharp distinction existing between the knowledge of the laity and that 
of the specialists. 

The average member of the tribe may know four or five formulas, bu I 
even then he usually only knows fragmentary portions of them, and 
mutilates them when trying to recite them, as the ritual meaning of 


many words is unknown to hini. This scanty supply of sacred and 
medicinal fonnulas nearly always includes the song to cure the 
residts of accidents (mostly cuts and gashes caused by ax or knife) 
(see p. 85); also some prayer for protection, either to be recited or 
sung, is usually common property; and two or three of the easier 
kind of medicinal conjurations may complete the lot. 

There are, however, indications that until recently (15 to 20 years 
ago) formulas were sold to a layman by a medicine man, if the former 
were willing to pay the price for it. This trade was carried on es- 
pecially in the domains of hunting and love conjuration, a good formula 
of any of these lands commanding $3 to $5. (See p. 105.) 

It is easy to understand why this practice is now on the verge of 
extinction: There is no game now in the Cherokee country, the kill- 
ing of which would be worth such an exorbitant sum,^* and as for the 
love formulas, the younger generation, which must always have sup- 
plied the main customers for this line, are fast losing faith in these 
practices and are relying on more material means to attract the 
attention and to obtain the favor of the opposite sex. 

There is no objection on the part of the medicine men to selling 
also the more ordinary disease-curing formulas and prescriptions to 
the uninitiated, but there is hardly any demand for these, nor does 
there seem to have been in the past. A plausible reason for the 
popularity of the two kinds mentioned before seems to my mind to 
be that an individual wanted to buy love or hunting formulas mainly 
so as to be able to go through the necessary ritual and ceremonies 
without the aid of a medicine man; by acting alone he could keep his 
intentions and his plans in the domain of hunting and love a secret 
to eventual competitors. 

There are some formulas, however, which a medicine man wiU not 
communicate to an uninitiated member of the tribe at any price. 
Even to the initiated this 1-dnd is only handed on with the utmost 
discrimination. (See p. 100.) These are the incantations listed 
below as Nos. 10-14 (pp. 148, 153). 

I might add, finally, that ostensibly there seems to be some reluc- 
tance on the part of the medicine men to propagate any formulas at 
all. They pretend that the more the knowledge of a formula, of 
whatever land it may be, is diffused, the less powerful it becomes 
and therefore they should be handed on to "the man in the street" 
with due care and moderation. This is, however, purely a theoreti- 
cal, and as a rule a rather hypocritical contention; and in the prac- 
tice every medicine man thinks that the occult power of the formulas 

'■* Deer and bear are extinct on the reservation, and rabbit, squirrel, and ground 
hog are about all there is left on the once so richly purveyed hunting grounds of 
the Cherokee. 


will not be tampered with to any considerable degree by what little 
Tie sells, if only the others would not sell so much of it. 

Theoretically speaking, there are no restrictions as to tlie formulas 
a medicine man may know. But for practical reasons most of them 
specialize in a certain set of them, according to the subbranch of 
magic or curing he speciaUzes in (as love attraction, medicine, etc.), 
or he may even speciaUze in a narrower field, according to the two 
or three diseases he is reputed to be an authority on. 

For specialists among the medicine men see page 85 ; for the special 
sets of formulas see below. 

When it comes to classifying the various formidas which the Chero- 
kee use we can do so according to their own standards or according to 

They themselves distinguish clearly between "good" formulas and 
*'bad" ones, the good ones being those the object of which is bene- 
ficial, the bad ones those with deleterious aims. Under the former 
they would classify those that have been listed by me as Nos. 1 to 9, 
pages 149-153; among the latter those which I list as Nos. 10 to 
14, pages 153-155. 


A. Prayers: 

1. For protection. 

2. For long life. 

3. For gathering medicine. 

B. Conjurations: 

4. For curing. 

5. For using tobacco. 

6. For examining with the beads. 

7. Against witches. 

8. Agricultural. 

9. For hunting and fishing. 

C. Incantations: 

10. " To change." 

11. To kill. 

12. For love attraction. 

13. For making unattractive. 

14. For separating. 

I feel that I should motivate in a few words this classification, as 
well as the terminology used. 

I apply the name of "formula" as a generic term to any of the 
three kinds used. 

Prayer. — By this name I call a formula in which a request is made 
or in which a desire is expressed to a power which is clearly felt as 
superior, and upon whom the one who prays feels himself dependent. 
The object is to bring about morally or materially beneficial results. 
The request is made, the desire expressed in a hinnble way; it is not 
felt that the result desired can be forced or extorted from the being 
addressed. He can not be commanded or compelled to act. 


Conjuration. — This is the term I use to indicate those formulas in 
which a power, not necessarily felt as superior, is appealed to in a 
commanding, coercive, often even in a threatening, insulting tone; 
the object is to bring about materially beneficial results. There is 
an absolute certainty that our desire will materialize, if only the for- 
mula is recited and the ceremony performed without a flaw. 

Incantation. — As usual m the course of this paper I define incanta- 
tion as the recitation of a fonnula with a view to harm a person in 
his material belongings, in his health, or in his Ufe. 

I am quite well aware that "incantation" as generally used in 
EngUsh has not this exclusive meaning, and very often also covers 
the two other groups discussed, as indeed, etymologically, it has a 
right to do. But anybody who has given the subject close attention 
will agree that the terminology is very confusing and most inadequate. 
Incantation, exorcism, spell, charm, prayer, magic or sacred formula, 
nursery rhymes, etc., are words that often aU stand for one thing, but 
when one particular kind of fonnula has to be referred to one is at a 
loss to know which term of the collection to use, and be sure to be 

The terminology as here used is adopted in German and Nether- 
landish as Prayer (Gm. Segen; Neth. Zegen); Conjuration (Gm. 
Beschworungsformel; Neth. Bezweringsformule) ; Incantation (Gm. 
Zauberspruch; Neth. Tooverspreuk). 


For Protection 
a''DaDutlso°'^sti t;GQ*'wutli' 

for tying oneself up for the purpose 

This kind of formulas, to which belong also many songs, are of a 
prophylactic nature. They are protection prayers, which are known 
in German foUdore as "Segen." 

They are recited, either by a priest on behalf of a patron, or by 
any one who happens to know them on behalf of himself, and are 
supposed to ward off evil, such as Ulness, ill will, witchcraft, etc. 
They are sung or recited especially before setting out on a journey, 
or when about to meet a group of people, and there is no doubt but 
the ferocious songs of "Ostenaco," both when setting out upon his 
journey and when arriving in the port of London, mentioned by 
Lieutenant Timberlake, were just this kind of protection songs. To 
quote Timberlake: "Wlien we had got about 200 yards from the 
town house . . . Ostenaco sung the war song, in which was a prayer 
for our safety through the intended journey; this he bellowed out loud 
enough to be heard at a nule's distance." (Timberlake, p. 98.) 

And when arriving: "While in the boat that took us to shore 
Ostenaco, painted in a very frightful manner, sung a solemn dirge 


with a very loud voice, to return God thanks for his safe arrival. 
The loudness and uncouthness of his singing, and the oddity of his 
person, drew a vast crowd of boats, filled \\'ith spectators from all 
the ships in the harbour . . . ," etc. (1. c, 115). 

I know many Cherokee who even now would not go to a social 
gathering, such as a ball game, a dance, etc., without first having 
recited or sung one of these fomiulas. 

Moreover, this land of formula may be simg by a married couple at 
night to ward off any machinations that might be undertaken against 
their conjugal happiness. 

There are not many of these prayers left and the Ay. manuscript 
does not contain a single specimen of them. 

For Long Life 
ama''yi Dt'"Dadzo°'st'to.ti' vcg-'wutH 

water, Loc. to lead them to, and for the pur- 

bring them back with pose of 

Since these formulas are practically used only in connection with 
the rite of "going to water," their name is referred to in this way. 

The ritual of going to water is performed by the Cherokee with 
very different ends in view: To obtain long life (which is by far the 
more important), to cast off a disease, for the benefit of a pregnant 
woman and her baby, to "work" against an enemy, in love matters, 
not to speak of the regular ceremony at every new moon, when each 
family is supposed to observe it. 

As a rule these prayers are the most lengthy and poetic in the col- 
lections. They are generally recited b}^ the priests when taking 
patrons to the river; they arc unknown to the laity. Nos. 18, 43, 
83, 92, and 93 of the Ay. manuscript belong to this kind. 

For Gathering Medicine 
n9"'wo*t'i' aGt'stryi' 

to treat with to take it 

This name is given to the prayers recited when gathering medicine ; 
they are usually addressed to i;ne"tlano'ci the Apportioner, the chief 
deity, and ask in a humble, meek way for His permission to come and 
gather the medicine. 

To this class might also be reckoned the formulas that are recited 
when putting the simples into the vessel to be boiled : 

n9''wo't'i' aGo'tiant'!t!9*'.i 

to treat with to p^it it in it 

There are no specunens of this kind in the Ay. manuscript. They 
are unknown to the laity. 




For Curing 

to treat people with for the purpose of 

This kind of fonnulas is the most common. Of the 96 contained 
in this (the Ay.) manuscript, only five (Nos. 18, 43, 83, 92, and 93) 
are not medicinal formulas. 

Although the proportion of these curing fonnulas is usually quite 
preponderant in the manuscripts, it is almost impossible that the Ay. 
manuscript should not have contained more formulas for such pur- 
poses as love attraction, hunting and fishing, man killing, etc. How- 
ever that may be, none were included in Mooney's transliteration of 
the manuscript on which this edition is based. (See p. 2.) 

To this class may also be reckoned to belong those few formulas 
that are used to take the medicine, after it has been boiled, outside of 
the house: Ganu'co'Wt'stt'yi' ng'^wo'tH' 

This is a welcome opportunity to say a word about the medicinal pre- 
scriptions. These are not formulas, but are nevertheless called by the 
same name as this class : GoSve*'li Df'Da'n9*'wo't*o.^ti^ uG9'Vutli',i. e., 
"papers to cure them (indefinite) with." 

They contain advice and prescriptions as to the simples that are 
to be used to cure a given disease, and are almost identical, both as 
to contents and structure, with the D€-'Go*st'stSG9*',i, i. e., "the direc- 
tions" (lit.: "where they (the contents) have been gathered") 
appended to most of the formulas. (See p. 158.) 

It is quite possible, not to say probable, that these prescriptions 
were originally the directions that went with the formulas, and that 
through error, neglect (or through rationalism?) of copyists, only the 
latter part of the formula, i. e., the directions, the prescription was 

For Using Tobacco 

tso-'lo" GO°'.'t'oti' uGQ-'wutK' 

tobacco it use with for the purpose of 

This name refers to the ceremony rather than to the formula used, 
as was the case with No. 2 (p. 150). 

"Old tobacco" may be used with different formulas and with dif- 
ferent ends in view: For curing certain diseases, for divinatory pur- 
poses, when "watching against witches," in certain incantation 

When expressed in this way, it should always be understood as 
referring to one of the three ceremonies last mentioned. 

i^lthough there are three ceremonial ways of "using tobacco," viz, 
chewing it, burning it on a fire of charcoal, and smoking it in a pipe 
(see p. 75), only the second method is meant, when the action is 
referred to as by the title given above. 


For Examining with the Beads 
aDe-'lo° Dt'kt'o.ti' 

bead(s) to look with them 

These are the formulas that are used when conjuring with the red 
(or white) and black beads; this manipulation is very frequent in 
Cherokee magic and medicine. 

It is nothing else but a kind of divination by which such hidden 
things are alleged to be discovered, as whether a sick man will live 
or die, whether we will be successful against an enemy, whether we 
will be successful in love, etc. 

These formulas are unknown to the laity. No. 83 of the Ay. 
manuscript belongs to this class. 

Just as the tobacco (cf. above), the beads may be used "both 
ways," as the Cherokee put it; i. e., they can be used to bring about 
beneficial or deleterious results, according to whether they are used 
along with a conjuration or with an incantation. But the medicine 
men always distinguish clearly between the two uses to which this 
manipulation may be put; the essence of the act does not depend on 
the paraphernalia used, but on the land of formida which is recited. 

Against Witches 

S9'no*'yi €-D?'!i Gana*'y't3.ti' uGQ-'wutli' 

at night he walks about to guard with for the purpose of 

This kind of conjuration is recited to ward off the evil influence or 
the envious machinations of witches. 

As described (p. 30), witches are especially active around the 
dwelling of the sick and the dying. (For a full description of the 
activities of the witches and of the ways of thwarting these, see 
pp. 29-33.) 



The whole of the Cherokee collection of formulas is very poor in 
specimens of this description. This can be explained in two ways. 

The fine climate and the good soil of the southern Alleghanies 
have made agriculture for the Cherokee a far easier proposition than 
it is, e. g., for the tribes of the Southwest. They are not so scantily 
provided ^vith rain as the desert people are, and therefore formulas 
to cause rain or to make the corn grow may never have been used 
to any considerable extent. 

The present scarcity of these fonnulas might also be explained in 
this way, that the Cherokee are now far less dependent on the native 
crops than they were a couple of centuries ago, when they did not 
have the advantages of the easy means of communication, and when 
they did not have traders and farmers living in their midst, or only 


a day's journey distant. And as wath the Christians, "the fear of the 
Lord is the beginning of all wisdom," it may be said of the Cherokee, 
and of many tribes on the same level, that "the fear of drought is 
the beginning of a conjuration for rain." 

These formulas are only loiown to specialists, of which there is 
still one living. 

There is no formula of this kind in the present manuscript, but 
James Mooney has edited one, obtained also from Ay., in his SFC, 
p. 387. 

For Hunting and Fishing 

a'ntno'"liD9-'!i i;-ntsc-*'ltGa'; aGa'V''t'9''i uG^-'wutH^ 

they hunt all over (it is) theirs fish traps for the purpose of 

By these names a variety of conjurations and songs are meant 
that aim at bringing success in hunting and fishing. Some of the 
hunting fonnulas are also used in divination practices, which are re- 
puted to advise the hunter as to whether the time he has chosen to 
go on a hunting expedition is propitious, in which direction he has 
to depart, what he will kill, and when. 

There is no doubt but that almost all the men knew a couple or 
more of these specimens some generations ago, when hunting, and 
even big-game hunting, were events of almost daily occurrence. 

The hunters bought the knowledge of these songs and formulas 
from the medicinemen (see p. 147), as much as $5 being paid for a 
bear-hunting song some 50 years ago. Now, as hunting is reduced to 
shooting rabbits and other small game, and with the advent of shot- 
guns, there no longer seems to be so much call for this magic ammuni- 
tion, and the formulas have therefore reverted to the custody of the 
medicine men. 

Closely akin to the hunting formulas are those used for fishing, 
either by line or by trap. For reasons above stated, these also are 
getting scarcer from year to year, and they will undoubtedly be 
among the first to disappear. 

No specimen of either is represented in this manuscript. 

"To Change" 

With this class of formulas we enter the field of incantation. 
This particular kind is used by a medicine man on his own initiative, 
or at the invitation of a client, "to change" an enemy to a different 
condition \vith. This is only a euphemistic way of saying to change 
him to a bad condition with, and the worse the better. 

This is the kind of incantation which, if successful, results in one 
of the dreaded aye''ItGO''Gi diseases. 


Just as love incantations are often alluded to by some circumlocu- 
tion (see p. 158), these incantations are often written down in the col- 
lections under the innocent sounding caption of tsi;''Dale'n9"'°D5" 

different sorts 

yGQ*'wutti' (for the purpose of different kinds of tilings). 

for the purpose of 

To Kill 

Di*Dane*'s8Gf'sti v"GQ''wuth' 
to kill people for the purpose of 

Of all the "bad" formulas, this is the worst Idnd, and rarely a 
medicine man will own that he knows one, or even that he has one 
in his possession. 

It only results in the death of the victim if certain ceremonies are 
performed, as described (p. 87). 

For Love Attraction 

people, living 

This class of formulas is considered by the Cherokee as belonging 
to the most mysterious and occult of their knowledge, and to obtain 
information on it is quite a proposition. Even when in a secluded 
spot, medicine men hardly venture to give information on it, and then 
only by wliispering, mieasily casting stealthy glances about them all 
the time. 

The name as here given is a very general one, and may cover a 
horrible incantation against a rival in a love matter, as well as a pretty, 
innocent conjuration to gain the affection of the girl we woo. 

Although y9*we'!i is the technical name for this class of formulas, 
it is seldom written so outspokenly as a heading in a medicine-man's 
notebook. Usually some such circumlocution is used as: ng-'wo'tT 
Dt'Goso°'tt'yi, "to make medicine," or Dmc'tsotiGwo"', "to play with 
them merely." Occasionally they are even found under totally mis- 
leading captions, as 

aDe*'lo° Dt'kt'oti' u^'ts^qi' 

beads to look with, he is ill 

to examine with the beads when he is ill. 

(For the terms used to clearly indicate malevolent love incantation, 
see p. 155.) 

A thorough discussion of love incantation and the lore pertaining to 
it is withheld for the present, as this manuscript does not contain a 
single formula of this kind. The matter may be more conveniently 
treated when Ms. II is edited, in which quite a number of these 
incantations occur. 


For Making Unattractive 

to cause them to become loathsome with 

This is the kind of incantation which is recited by a medicine man 
at the request either of a scorned lover or of a jealous rival. 

In the first case the patron orders the formula to be directed against 
the haughty object of his affections, and tries to make her so loathsome 
that she who spurned him will in her turn be scorned by others. 

If the machinations are directed against a rival he is reviled to such 
an extent that no person endowed with reason could possibly think of 
paying any attention to him. 

For Separating 

Dt'-DaGale"'N!to.ti' uGO'SvutH" 

to separate people with for the purpose of 

In the previous sections we discussed the kind of yQ'we'H formulas 
that are used by a spurned lover and by wliich he takes vengeance 
of an irresponsive love. 

The kind we now deal with is used to kindle discord and to sow ill 
feeling betv/een a married couple, or between sweethearts, so that the 
conquest of the party desired may be made the easier by the heretofore 
unsuccessful lover. 

As already stated (p. 150), this is the incantation against which some 
protection song may be crooned by husband and wife at night that 
their love may not be unwrought by evil agencies. 

How THE Formulas Are Recited or Sung 

As has been repeatedly stated in the course of this paper, some of 
the formulas are recited, others are sung. Although there is no defi- 
nite rule as to which are spoken and which are chanted, it seems that 
most of the hunting formulas and a good many of the protection 
prayers are sung. Also some of the curing formulas, but very few of 
these only. 

As I am not expert at recording music it was thought best to use the 
dictaphone to register some of the medicine, hunting, and dance songs. 
Fifteen dictaphone records were taken and have been deposited with 
the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Wash- 
ington, D. C. 

Some of the hunting and protection songs are of considerable artistic 
value; the Cherokee sing with a high-pitched falsetto voice, and with 
all the singers heard, a peculiar nasal twang was noticed. 

When the formulas are recited the medicine man mumbles them 
under his breath, and at a very fast tempo, so that neither the patient 
nor any one of his household manages to catch a single word. 


Nowadays tihe medicine man does not always rely on his memory 
when reciting the longer formulas; he often reads the text from his 
ragged notebook or from the crumpled sheets of paper on which he 
has it jotted down. 

How THE Formulas are Considered by the Laity and by the 

Medicine Men 

The layman holds the formulas of any kind in a sort of timorous 
respect and apprehensive awe. They are most powerful means indeed 
in the hands of those who know how to use them, but one who is not 
an expert had better leave them alone, for you never know what 
might happen. 

To the medicine men the formulas are the means by which men 
are indirectly made powerful wizards; indirectly, i. e., through endow- 
ing them -with the faculty to solicit or to command the services of 
those mighty wizards, the Spirits. 

We must believe without flinching or wavering, we must have a 
staunch confidence in this power of the formulas. For the wizards 
we call on ''know our mind," and if they find our conviction faltering 
they will not heed us, nor the words we speak. 

A formula is sure to bring about the desired result, if only we are 
careful not to make any mistake in our choice. We may be so igno- 
rant as to thirds; that a patient is suffering from a disease caused by 
the fish, and we wiU consequently call on the fishing hawk to come 
and combat the fish. But maybe the ailment is not caused by the 
fish at all; possibly ghosts are responsible for it, or animal ghosts, or 
the birds, or the sun. It is obvious, the medicine men argue, that 
in this case no relief would follow, as we have appealed to a curing 
agent (the fishing hawk) who is absolutely powerless in this emergency. 

We must also be careful not to omit a word, not a syllable, of the 
formula recited. It does not matter if there are words we do not 
understand (words, e. g., belonging to the ritual language (see p. 160) 
or words which, through erroneous copying, have been contaminated) ; 
the spirits we talk to understand them, as these expressions have been 
used in addressing them ''ever since the time of long ago, when the 
old people lived." 

Merely reciting the formula is not sufl&cient if we want to obtain 
success, though: we must also know "what is to be used with it," 
i. e., what simples are to be collected, how they have to be prepared, 
how they should be administered, etc. ; and last but not least, we 
should also know "how we have to work." It is not difficult to 
recite a formula, but it is far from easy to know how to perform 
all the accompanying rites, to be conversant with the voluminous 
materia medica, and to be an expert at finding the simples and at 
preparing them. All this only a medicine man knows. 


Technique of Writing the Formulas 

Reference has repeatedly been made in the course of this paper to 
the sheets of paper and the notebooks in which the medicine men keep 
their stock of sacred and medicinal knowledge recorded, 

I will now briefly describe the technique observed by them in com- 
piling, conserving, and using this information. 

The most methodic of the medicine men keep notebooks the sizes 
of which may differ from foolscap or quarto to 16° which they obtain 
from the white traders, and in which they write down the formulas 
they have been able to collect, without paying the slightest regard 
whatever to system or classification. 

A conjuration to cure headache may precede a love incantation, 
which may be followed by a fishing song, after which a prescription 
for diarrhea is found. 

The Ay, manuscript following is by no means the worst example of 
this motley topsy-turvy, as there are manuscripts in which the for- 
mulas are even interspersed with notes of an historical interest, not 
to speak of tribal records, such as births, deaths, accidents, etc. 

It has always been a riddle to me how the medicine man finds the 
formula he needs for a particular occasion. This is indeed often a 
rather difficult proposition, but even if there are manuscripts contain- 
ing nearly 300 formulas, the medicine man always knows exactly 
which formulas it contains. This, to my mind, is quite a remarkable 
feat of memory, since in such a compilation quite a few of the 
formulas are of necessity practically identical. 

Where the formulas are kept on loose sheets of paper, of aU dimen- 
sions and aspects, some of them written out in lead pencil, others in 
inlv, others again with red or brown crayons, the confusion is even 

Roughly speaking, the contents of these collections may be divided 
into formulas and prescriptions. Usually they have a title written 
as a caption at the top, but this is not a rule, as very often the con- 
tents and the purpose of the formulas are briefly indicated at the end 
in the "directions." 

Both *'title" and "directions" the Cherokee call by the same name: 
De'''G0'si'siSG9'',i, i. e,, "where they (the information, pi.) have been 
assembled," The directions at the end of the formula usually convey 
such information as the purpose of the formula, directions as to the 
simples or other materia medica to be used; how this is to be prepared 
(often even where the plants can be found), which paraphernalia are 
to be used, what ritual is to be gone through, and the restrictions to 
be observed by the patient, and eventually by the medicine man. 
Occasionally the fee is also listed here. 

Sometimes a part of the directions of the formula, especially the 
passage conveying the information about the purpose it is used for, 


and the paraphernalia that are necessary, is prefixed to the formula 
as a caption. 

Medicinal prescriptions may have a caption, but, as is easy to 
understand, usually are not followed by any directions, since they 
themselves contain the data which are found in the directions 
appended to the formula. 

As will appear from the section describing the structure of the 
formulas, these very often are made up of four paragraphs, which, 
save for a couple of words, are textually identical. It does not seem 
to have struck many of the medicine men that they could save them- 
selves a good deal of trouble by inerely writing down one paragraph 
completely, and only the variants in the three following paragraphs. 
As a rule the four paragraphs are written out completely, this some- 
times resulting in slightly varying spellings which may often be 
quite interesting from the point of view of the phonetician. Only 
when writing down certain songs in which the same expression is 
repeated over and over again, the copyist gives proof of a more 
practical turn of mind and only copies each expression once, entrusting 
the sequence and the repetitions to his memory. 

I have already mentioned the curious practice of "camouflaging" 
the contents of certain of the "bad" formulas, mostly love or man- 
killing incantations, by captions that have nothing whatever to do 
with their actual purpose. (See p. 154.) This is done to deceive any 
outsiders or uninitiated persons, who, by accident, might get posses- 
sion of the book or the papers. But considering the jealous care 
with which medicine men keep their writings hidden and secluded, 
there is really no great cause for apprehension on this score. 

I finally might stress once more the importance of the "directions" 
of the formulas and of the prescriptions. Just as clear and explicit 
directions appended to them result in a value of 100 per cent, a for- 
mula without the necessary directions is almost valueless. If a 
medicine man acquires a new formula, and the directions to it are 
missing, it means that he will have to hunt for a fellow practitioner 
who can give him the necessary information as to its use, the simples 
needed, etc. This has not only the great disadvantage that he has 
to show his new formula to competitors and rivals, but also that he 
will have to pay as much and perhaps more for the "exegesis" as 
he had to lay out for the acquisition of the formula itself. The 
formula may be a gem, but the directions indicate its carat. 

Although some of the directions show ample evidence of their 
antiquity, yet they are not bound to tradition and formalism so 
rigidly as are the formulas. The latter may have been handed down, 
as far as we are able to gather, for centuries without an iota having 
been altered in them; the directions, however, have been subjected 
to such changes, alterations, and emendations as have been rendered 


necessary by migration to a new habitat, by change in the material 
culture, or by evolution in the beliefs. 

So, for instance, in a formula against bullet wounds the "bullet" 
is not mentioned once, and is still spoken of as an arrow; as far as 
the expressions used in this formula are concerned, it might have 
been used in the pre-Columbian period. But when we scan the 
directions we soon see that it has been changed with due regard to the 
introduction of firearms. We also find that in those directions 
where simples are being prescribed that are foreign to the present 
habitat of the Cherokee these are being gradually replaced and super- 
seded by plants found in their present locality. 

Whereas a formula loses all its power by retracting or adding as 
little as one syllable to it, directions and prescriptions may be im- 
proved upon, both grammatically and technically, by any one who 
chooses to do so. 

Structure of the Formulas 

Although the best way of gaining an insight into the structure of 
the formulas is to examine the specimens given in the text material, 
a few preliminary remarks will not be considered out of place here. 

The general pattern according to which the formulas are built is 
the following: 

1. An exclamation of warning, to attract the attention of the spirit 
addressed, as sGe', k*a, ya*. 

2. The spirit's name, sometimes his color; the place where he has 
his abode. 

3. Some expression extolling his power, as "thou powerfiil wizard 
indeed," or "thou penetratest all things," or "nothing can escape 
thy sight." 

4. A statement as to the cause of the disease, the identity of the 
disease causer, or the reason for which the spirit's help is invited. 

5. Some depreciatory remarks at the address of the disease, of the 
disease causer, of the enemy against whom an incantation is being 
recited, etc. 

6. Some specific reason why the spirit called upon is expected to 
effect relief in this particular instance. 

7. An emphatic statement that relief has been effected. 

8. A final exclamation, usually ya\ sometimes sGe', rarely k*a'. 
This, as I have said, is only a general pattern; there is perhaps not 

one formula exactly lilve it, nor does it mention certain other motives, 
which occur occasionally, though not so regularly. For example, in 
many formulas the cry of the animal spirit invoked is imitated, for 
the fox du'; for the rabbit dt'st.''^ 

" These imitative cries are often rather symbolic than onomatopoetic. 
7548°— 32 12 


[Bull. 99 

Again in many formulas that are used, as in love attraction, there 
are many motives that are quite uncalled for in the curing conju- 

In quite a few of the formulas the name and the clan of the patient, 
of the patron, or of the enemy may be mentioned. 

The first paragraph of the formula is often repeated three times, 
very slight changes being made every time; usually only the color 
of the spirits and their abode are modified. 

Only rarely does a formula contain seven paragraphs. This is 
almost exclusively the case with some long-life formulas recited at 
the river's bank. 

The Ritual Language "^^ 

There is abundant proof that the language as used in Cherokee 
religion and ritual has been checked in certain aspects of its evolu- 
tion and that it has become stationary and archaic, the everyday 
language having followed its fatal course of development. 

This process is easy to explain when we call to mind the tremendous 
importance which the untutored mind attaches to form and pattern. 
Whereas the everyday language, the tribal language as we will call 
it, is a tool of the community, of the man in the street, to express 
his views on a countless number of matters, in an almost unlimited 
variety of ways, the ritualistic language is usually the appanage of a 
chosen few, and is in any case strictly used in rigidl}'" exclusive circum- 
stances, and in sternly conserved, crystallized and stereotyped ex- 

Sacred formulas, whether they be conjurations, incantations, or 
conventional prayers, are bound to form rather than to content. 
The desired result is held to be brought about, not by the meaning 
of the words used, but merely by strict adherence to the wording 
and the form. This accounts for the fact that even in European 
folklore so many conjurations and incantations are still in use con- 
taining words and expressions so archaic that even the initiated and 
the adepts fail to understand them; yet not one of these adepts would 
dare or venture to change a word and to supply a modern, more in- 
telligible expression for it, since to tamper with even so little as a 
syllable would not only seriously compromise but would render abso- 
lutely nil the power and the result of the formula. We find the same 
conditions prevailing with the Cherokee, only to an even greater 

" The following remarks have already been presented in a slightly different 
form in a paper read before the First International Congress of Linguists, The 
Hague, April, 1928. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 161 

To be systematic and methodical, I should state which, to my 
mind, are the sources from wliich the Cherokee ritual language in its 
present shape is derived : 

1. There is first of all a substratum of what may be called the lan- 
guage at an earlier stage of its growth. 

2. Secondly there is a layer of the Western dialect. 

3. Finally there is an unmistakable influence of the rhythm in the 
melodies of songs. 

The latter element, the influence of the song melodies, is of all the 
least perceptible, and from a linguist's viewpoint, of the least impor- 
tance. It bears only on certain phonetic and on a very few mor- 
phologic aspects. Such are the artificial prefixing, infixing, and suffix- 
ing of particles without any semantic value, which is done with the 
sole object in view of filhng out the meter of the melody when sing- 
ing. Instances are: 

(a) Prefixing (prosthesis) — 'a is frequently prefixed to such words 
as Vno-"Gwo'", "now"; VoalQ-'ldi, ''above"; 'a-'i;soni;"'li, "quickly." 

(b) Infixing (epenthesis) — €-lan(a)Di for e-ldi, edaoi, "below"; 
a^Gwan(a)Du*'k'a' for a'GwaDf^lua', "I want"; no'tst'o!i' for noHsui', 
"in the pine grove." 

(c) Suffixing (paragoge; epithesis). 

No instance of the suffixing of meaningless syllables to fill out the 
meter of a melody has come to my notice; nor is this difficult to ex- 
plain: Cherokee possesses such a vast variety of emphatic suffixes 
(-ya, -yi, -yu, Dfno"', -GO'Ga', etc.), that in case of emergency one or 
even a couple of these are called upon to bring the word or the sen- 
tence up to its necessary number of syllables. 

Also the contrary of the processes just described takes place: 

(a) Aphesis; aphaeresis — 

GW€^*t!a' for aGwe^'tsta"^ne!a', "I have pain." 

Gtse''Gwo" for a'GfS€''Gw5", "the big bitch." 

Ge'HyaGw'Ga for aGe'HyaGy'Ga, "the woman by excellence." 

(b) Syncope — 

tstS€*'Gi,'.a' for tst'se'GO'^Gi'.a', "I overcome it." 
ani'GaGe"°' for a'niGt'GaGe'"', "they (are) red." 
GWe'^ua' for aGWe'*ista''ne*a', "I have pain." 

(c) Apocope — 

no-'GwoDf' for no*'GWODi*no'*', "now indeed." 
wa'a'l for wa'*ali', (name for a mountain). 
tsQ-'rjDSo' for tso'rjy'soH', "where the Creeks five," 
As for the second layer mentioned, the evidence is as interesting 
to the student of psychology and history as to the linguist. 

This layer, as already stated, consists of a collection of words and 
expressions, borrowed from the Western dialect. This is the dialect 


which has always been spoken by the majority of the tribe; by 
that fraction of the tribe, moreover, where civilizing influences during 
the eighteenth and nineteenth centinies made themselves felt most 
keenly; by that fraction of the tribe, finally, to which belonged the 
inventor of the Cherokee syllabary. As a result of all this, the 
Western dialect soon rose in importance, and in fact acquired pre- 
cedence over the others, as usually happens with a written dialect. 
Thus, although theoretically speaking, the Central and Eastern 
dialects can be written just as satisfactorily by means of the Sequoya 
syllabary as the Western dialect, the fact that it was invented by a 
Nvestemer, that it was apphed to writing in the Western dialect, 
before it was so applied to the others, the fact that portions of biblical 
as well as of secular Uterature were translated and printed in this 
dialect only — all this contributed immensely toward making of the 
Western dialect what might aptly be called the hterary tongue of all 
the Cherokee. 

Hence the fonnulas written clown in this dialect contained many 
expressions which the Central-dialect speaking Cherokee either did 
not understand, or else understood but would have expressed in a 
different way. 

Since, however, a formula must be recited as written down, and ^ 
since tampering with its traditional form is nothing short of sacrilege, M 
these Western dialect expressions have been treasured and handed 
down ever since; needless to say, many of them have, in the coui'se of 
this process, been mutilated beyond recognition, and it is quite 
possible that some of them m^ay never again be satisfactorily recon- 
structed or explained. 

It will be possible to state exactly to what extent the Western 
dialect has been drawn upon for the ritualistic language of the Central 
dialect by a thorough study of the Western dialect, which has not yet 
been made but which will soon be undertaken. 

Finally there is the source which I mentioned first, but which 
I reserved for discussion until now, because it is the most important 
and offers more interesting material and more promising results. 
This source is what I called a substratmn of words and expressions 
illustrating certain processes in the history and growth of the lan- 

As has been described in the previous pages, the Cherokee ritual 
language is used mainly in prayers, conjurations, and incantations, 
mostly recited, but sometimes sung, and the greater part of which are 
expected to prevent, cure, or cause disease; some of them are also 
recited in order to obtain prosperity, luck in love or in war, in hunting 
and fishing, and in the various pursuits of tribal life. It also may 
occur sporadically in songs, even if these do not belong to the ritual, 
and possibly in certain clan names. 


These formulas are now handed down in written form, but before 
the art of writing was invented, about a century ago, they must have 
been taught to the initiated orally, and there are quite a few indications 
which lead us to believe that many of them must be several hundreds 
of years old, at least. Many of them contain references to mythical 
beings, spirits and animals, on which even the voluminous tribal 
mythology is silent. Both in the vocabulary and in the grammatical 
construction there occur elements which even the oldest priests and 
the most traditionalist of the medicine men are at a loss to elucidate. 
The only explanation they venture to offer is that "this was the way 
it was said by the people who lived a long time ago." 

Knowing as we do the jealous care with which this material has 
been conserved, and the judgment and the discrimination used 
when handing it down, it will be possible to make these data serve the 
purpose of investigating some of the problems of historical Iroquoian 
linguistics. A few illustrations taken from the different fields of 
linguistics, viz, phonetics, lexicology, morphology, S3mtaxis and 
semantics, will show some of the results that can be obtained by this 

Phonetics. — A clan name a'nisa'o*'ni could not, so far, be identified 
with certainty. It is true that its relation with sa*k*o*'ni (''blue") 
has been suggested, but until further evidence was brought forward, 
this explanation could only be called a plausible guess. It appears 
now, however, that the exclamatory k'a' used in tribal language is the 
equivalent of the 'a*' met \\dth so often in the formulas; thus not only 
maldng the etymology of a'nisa'o"'ni a certainty instead of a guess, but 
also making it probable that once such a law as the shift from the 
aspirate to the aspirated velar surd occlusive must have operated 
initially resp. medially. 

Lexicology. — With respect to the vocabulary there is a good deal to 
be gleaned from the material. Most, if not aU, of the formulas 
antedating, as far as we can gather, the invasion of the whites, there 
are many references to aboriginal fauna and flora, to artifacts and 
utensils which are now obsolete, and the use of many of which has 
now even been forgotten. In one hunting formula the name of seven 
different kinds of deer are given, whereas now distinction is made 
between two kinds only. 

The name k'^a'lo'Gwe' which is now used for gun or rifle is stiU used 
in the formulas with the meaning of "bow," just as Ga°ni' now meaning 
"bullet" or "lead" is used for "arrow" in the formulas. 

"wane"'" which is now only understood as hickory {Hicoria alba 
(L.) Britt.), is still used in the formulas as "arrow," because arrows 
used to be made of them. 

st*'kwa which in the tribal language merely means "pig," used 
to stand for "opossum," in which meaning the ritualistic language 
invariably uses it. 


There are, moreover, quite a number of concepts that are referred 
to in the formulas by words that are totally different from those 
used in the tribal language: 

Ritual language 

Tribal language 

Beads - 



Yard (around dwelling) 

Disease _ . 


As far as morphology is concerned the most impressive fact is that 
in the ritualistic language the comm.-Iroq. feature of incorporation of 
the nominal object has been retained to a far greater extent than in 
the tribal language. In fact the latter seems to be losing, slowly but 
surely, this mode of expression altogether. E. g., such an expression 
as: "I am making it bigger," is rendered in the tribal language: 

i;'t'ant-'Do° mGo*'neV 

it-bigger-become I make it 

whereas the ritualistic language still uses the more typical Iroq.: 
Gat*a'no*t'sti!a' (i. e., aa-, 1st. sgl. pronominal pref., 1st. conj. subject.; 
■y-t'an(o)-"big"; -'tst- causat. infix; -ua' praes. suff.). Of this there 
are many instances. 

Another fact, equally interesting, of which only one instance has 
been found so far, is the prefixing of the particle expressing the pos- 
session of the object to the verb instead of to the noun, as in the tribal 

Ritual language: a'oaN'ti' tsuDa'N!tt"yu' 
Tribal language: tsu'caN^ti' UDa'N'tfyu' 
(Both with the same meaning: "He loves thy soul.") 
Syntaxis. — Adverbs of place, which in tribal language usually pre- 
cede the verb, in the ritualistic language often follow it: 

Ritual language: ant'lo^i' c'tlawf'ni, "they pass underneath." 
Tribal language: c'tlawf'ni am'loH', "underneath they pass." 
Semantics. — This is indeed a most interesting and promising field. 
The stem -y-Da'N^t- which in tribal language only means "to 
think," in the ritual language invariably stands for "to cause": 
ulsGe''Do° u'DaN^tc'loli', he has caused the disease for (i. e., to) him. 
The primitive notion that evil can be cast upon an enemy by think- 
ing, wishing, saying (cf. Latin "incantare"), is hereby clearly illus- 
trated ; even more so though by the following group of words which all 
derive from a stem -^^(1)- "to say": 

u^Do'no'^, "he has caused it." 
a^Do^'m-aa", "he has come to cause it"; "it has been caused." 
ntog-'DtSGe'sti', "he will continue to cause it." 
nv'Dat'ang-'Da, "it has been caused at the same time." 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 165 

The tribal word for •'disease" u'yu'aa is not used in the ritual 
language, where it is always referred to as : " that which is important," 
"the important thing," ulsGe-'no". 

"Death" is referred to in the ritual language as u'so'*tDo°^ a word 
which in the tribal language always has the meaning of "night- 

tsiyQ*''ntsta*'ne!a' which in the tribal language means: "I hit him," 
in the ritual language conveys the professional idea of performing 
passes, of massaging. 

Although many more examples could be adduced, it is considered 
that those given have amply proved the point; those that are held 
over will be worked out and incorporated in the sketch of the Cherokee 
grammar on which work is well advanced. 


With reference to the statement made on page 2, a comparative 
table is given in the following lines of the sequence into which the 
formulas had been put by Mr. Mooney. 

The titles and the first figures are Mooney's, whereas the figures 
between parentheses are those under which the formulas will be 
found in the texts. 

Genito-urinary diseases: 1 (4), 2 (80), 3 (6), 4 (22), 5 (95), 6 (55), 7 (94), 8 (81), 

9 (37), 10 (38). 
Snake dreams and snake bites: 11 (5), 12 (20), 13 (47). 
Indigestion and fainting: 14 (7), 15 (8), 16 (11), 17 (15), 18 (14), 19 (26), 20 (34), 

21 (65), 22 (85), 23 (29), 24 (46), 25 (54), 26 (16), 27 (27), 28 (42), 29 (39), 

30 (50), 31 (86). 
Headache, toothache, earache, sore eyes, and throat troubles: 32 (9), 33 (10), 

34 (35), 35 (13), 36 (57), 37 (82), 38 (2), 39 (89), 40 (96), 41 (63), 42 (21), 

43 (56), 44 (62), 45 (61). 
Chills, fever, and blisters: 46 (1), 47 (23), 48 (30), 49 (40), 50 (41), 51 (48), 

52 (53), 53 (90), 54 (75), 55 (88). 
Wounds and frostbite: 56 (59), 57 (60), 58 (69), 59 (87). 
Worms and bowel troubles: 60 (17), 61 (49), 62 (32), 63 (52), 64 (71), 65 (72), 

66 (73), 67 (74), 68 (78), 69 (79). 
Childbirth, female troubles, etc.: 70 (70), 71 (76), 72 (51). 
The scratching ceremony, rheumatism, and kindred pains: 73 (25), 74 (31), 

75 (28), 76 (19), 77 (84), 78 (91), 79 (64), 80 (24), 81 (68), 82 (67), 83 (46), 

84 (66), 85 (44), 86 (36). 
Witchcraft diseases and taking to water: 87 (3), 88 (58), 89 (12), 90 (33), 91 (77), 

92 (43), 93 (93), 94 (83), 95 (18), 96 (92). 

i;*'nawa"sti €"'gwo" aDa^ n^'Vo't'i' *r*a' ] 

it chill it big the medicine this 

SGe" I Gal^-'ldi 'tne'*i | Oalg-'ldi 'tne'^i | *tne'!i 

now then! above thou and I above thou and I thou and I 

are living are living are living 

*m€'*i I *tne'^'-yu' | ^'nina-'^w?' | 'me'^*-yu' | *me''t'-yu' 

thou and I thou and I thou and I thou and I thou and I 

are living are living— E (are) wizards are living — E are living — EJ 

utst^'nawa' aDo^'nfGa' | aDo^'nfGa' | *a:yi' 

beyond-it- it has become said it has become said 


SGe" I Q-'waDo-!'i ^ne'!i I 9'VaDo'!i *ine'!i I *in€'*i 

now then! storehouse — Loc thou and I storehouse — Loc thou and I thou and I 

are living are living are living 




[Bull. 99 


thou and I 
are living 



now then! 

thou and I 
are living — E 

aDO nfGa 

It has become said 

tniDa- "we' I 

thou and I 
(are) wizards 

I aDo^'nfGa' 

it has become said 

tne I'-yu 

thou and I 
are living — E 

pine(s) — Loc 

^tne :i 

thou and I 
are living 

thou and I 
are living 

me I'-yu 

thou and I 
are living— E 

t \ 


L niDa* "We 
thou and I 

(are) wizards 

no-Hst-'M \neli 

pine(s)— Loc thou and I 
are living 

*ine''(,--yu' I 

thou and I 
are living— E 


5 ytst^^nawa' aDO^'m'Ga' 

beyond-it- it has become said 


now then! 

me a 

thou and I 
are living 



aDO nfGa 

it has become said 


a ma*-yi 

water — Loc 


thou and I 
are hving 

a ma*-yi 

water — Loc 

thou and I 
are living 


now then 

10 ^Da'^"We'i' 

thou (art a) 


thou (art a) 

me r-yu | 

thou and I 
are living— E 

aDO^'nt'Ga' | 

it has become said 


ha! now 

^niDa-"we' I 

thou and I 
(are; wizards 

I aDO^TlfGa' 
it has become said 

me f-yii 

thou and I 
are living— E 


thou and I 
are living — E 

I \neli 

thou and I 
are living 


thou and I 
are living — E 

I \neli 

thou and I 
are living 


thou and I 
are living— E 


thou hast come to listen 





thou little 

o'^Dali' tsu^skGo-'!i Duwa*'"wsat-9'' DitsD'tlt'o't'sti' | 

mountain (s) they small — Loc it stretched out con- thou art staying 

tinuously — T L 

I Go*i;'sti tsunu''l8'o°-'ski ntGe"'s9*na' | 'a-no"'"Gwo' 

something thou failest— U never ha!— Now 

D0*'t'a^le'9'r)a I 
thou bast arisen 


thou hast come to brush it 


small— E 

u'Dt*ya'stanJ)'!i *t'Ge*'se*'° *o'°' 
it has been left over that which is — App again- 



it small — Loc 

plateau on hillside 



n9"'no-'i' wi-De"'tSat'an9'!o°'si' | a'ne"'tS0'Ge"'D0° Ge*'tSaD9'N!e!i' I 

trail (s)— Loc 

toward yonder they will lay 


15i]9"'r)otist*aTifGa' | iG9''wulst'a^ntda'*stt-Gwo"' 

it has happened so what is its worth as it goes about — L. 

they do to thee — App. 

it scattered 


thou hast come to do 
for him 

ytst'^Dawa' niG9''DiSGe"sti' 

beyond-it- it will be said continu- 

stretched ally onwards 


now then 





'a'-no-"Gwo'° ^o'°-'a' t'or)a''nfGa' 'a-'Galu-'Gu" 'e-'Gwo'*t= 

ha! now again thou hast come to listen thou whirlwind thou (art) big— 

o"'Dali tse"'Gwo-'!i Di;"Da*'"wsat-o"' 

mountain(s) they big— Loc 

it stretching out itself 
continuously— T L 

lyo- °Do° 

over yonder 


thou art 

thou whirlwind 

thou (art) big 


hal quickly 


thou hast arisen 

20 i^sti*'k*t"-5m' i;^Dt'ya'stano''i I 't\yal9Gt^stVnfGa' ulsGe^'oo" 

it small— E it has been left over thou hast come to brush it away it important 

OlShts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 169 

iGO-'t-e-'Gwo" u'sa't'laai' I tGo-'t-e-Gwo'-vi fy9-'°Do° ng-'no-H' 

swamp big plateau on hillside swamp-big — Loc over yonder trail (s)—Loc 

Wt-De"'tSatVno''!o°'si' | a'ne*'tS0'G€"'D0° Ge*'tsaD9"'N!e*k'DtSe-sti' | 
toward yonder they will lay playing they will do to thee continuously 


iG9-'wulst*amda'*stt-Gwo'" I utSt^'naWO-GWO"' nv^DQ.t^ano^DQ I 

what is its worth as it goes about — L beyond-it-stretched — L(=E) it has been said at the 

same time 

nt'Ga-Gi' ya' | i;*'nawa/sti c'gwo" u-'iittl9'r)9''.i | t*a*ya' Go°*/t*oti' 

as far as all Sharply! chill it big whenever they are ill cherry it to be used 

with it 

DtDzo"'t' I tso''l-aGay9-'°li ya!cf' i;lQ'%w'oti-Gwo''' na.skwo"' 

they to be blown tobacco-old if he has it powerful L (=E) also 

with it 

(For) the Big Chill This is the Medicine 


Now then ! Above thou and I are living, 

Above, thou and I are living, 

Thou and I are living. 

Thou and I are living. 

Thou and I are living indeed, 

Thou and I (are) wizards. 

Thou and I are living indeed. 

Thou and I are living indeed. 

Relief has been caused, it has been caused. Ha-yi! 
Now then! On storehouse mountain thou and I are living, 

On storehouse mountain, thou and I are living. 

Thou and I are living (bis). 

Thou and I are living indeed. 

Thou and I (are) wizards, 

Thou and I are living, indeed (bis), 

Relief has been caused, it has been caused. Ha-yi! 
Now then! In the pine forest thou and I are living (bis). 

Thou and I are living (bis). 

Thou and I are living indeed, 

Thou and I (are) wizards. 

Thou and I are living indeed (bis). 

Relief has been caused, it has been caused. Ha-yi! 
Now then! In the water thou and I are living (bis). 

Thou and I are living (bis). 

Thou and I are living indeed. 

Thou and I (are) wizards, 

Thou and I are living indeed (bis), 

Relief has been caused, it has been caused. Ha-yi! 

Now then! Ha! now thou hast come to listen, thou Little Whirl- 
wind, thou wizard. Among the stretched out (tree branches) of the 
small mountains thou art staying. Thou wizard, thou never failest 
in anything. Ha! now thou hast arisen, facing us. The minute 
portion (of the disease) which has been left over, thou hast again 
come to brush away into the little swamp on the plateau along the 



[Bull, m 

mountain flank. Thy trails ^ lead from here to the swamp into 
which they disappear. They have played with thee/ it seems (and 
tossed thee about). So, indeed, it has happened. (And) who cares 
what happens to it? - Thou ^ hast come and scattered it for him.'* 
Relief has now been caused, and will not be undone. 

Now then! Ha! Now thou hast come to hear, thou Big Whirlwind, 
big indeed. Among the stretched out (tree branches) of the big 
mountains, over yonder, thou art staying. Thou Big Whirlwind, 
ha! quicldy thou hast arisen, facing us. Only a minute portion of the 
disease has remained. Thou hast come to sweep it away into the 
great swamp on the plateau along the mountain flank. Thy ^ 
trails lead from here to the great swamp over yonder. They will play 
with thee^ and toss thee about continually ; who cares what happens to 
it,^ now! Relief indeed has been caused at the same time, completely 
indeed. Sharp there! 

When they are ill with the big chill, cherry is to be used to blow 
them with. If old tobacco is available (it is) also very efficient. 


[This formula has been edited with notes and comments by James 
Mooney, SFC, pp. 359-361. The plants used have been identified 
as tso*'la:GQ:y9°'li (Nicotiana rustica L., wild tobacco), and t'aya' 
{Prunus mrginiana L., chokecherry; also Prunus serotina Ehrh., wild 
black or rum cherry).] 



am sGu ya 

they men 
ani'loci' | 

they just 
passed by 


beyond it 


their heads 

ani'loH' 1 

they just 
passed by 

Du''nitl9r)9"'.i' ' 

whenever they are ill 









mountain-he climbs 


beyond it 

ano^'nfGa' | 

they have come 
and said it 

0' 6 

ano nfGa 

they have come 
and said it 


ano nt'Ga 

they have come 
and said it 


beyond it stretched 


they (are) wizards 

Gii^tltaJa"' I 
it (has been) 



their heads 


it (sol.) used to be 
held in the mouth— H 


whenever they are ill 


they to be blown with it 



nt-usti' I 

so far like 

' Addressing the disease. 

2 "It"==the disease. 

2 Addressing the Little Whirlvvind. 

* "Him" = the patient. 

5 W. Dial, form; C. Dial.: i^'nitsQQQ-'i. 

" This is one of the cases alluded to on p. 2, and from which it appears that 
a preceding formula or prescription, "also for headache," was not included by 
Mooney in his transliteration of the manuscript. 




The men have just passed by, they have caused relief, 
The wizards have just passed by, they have caused relief, 
Relief has been rubbed, they have caused relief. Sharp! 

And this is also (for) when their heads are ill. This (is to be sung) 
hke this : ^ 

Mountain-climber ^° should be chewed, (and) they should be 
blown with it. 


This song is to cure a headache which, it is stated, is accompanied 
by pain in the back of the neck. 

The melody closely resembles that of formulas Nos. 42 and 82. 

The medicine is ginseng ^° chewed and held in the mouth. While 
singing the doctor rubs the forehead of the patient [with the palm 
of his right hand, and on finishing the song], takes a sip of water, and 
then blows the water mixed \vith the ginseng juice [on the forehead, 
or on the temples or on the crown of the patient's head according as 
to where the pain is most acute]. The song and the blowing are 
repeated four times, and if necessary the whole ceremony is repeated 
four times before noon, or at intervals of about half an hour after 
the first treatment. tso*'laGay 'g' °li' ^^ may be used instead of ginseng, 
[There is no taboo.] 

[The ''men" referred to in the song are probably the "Little Peo- 
ple" dwelling in the rocks, in the mountains, etc. (See p. 25.) It is 
not impossible, however, that the Thunder Boys are meant (see p. 24), 
but this is less likely since the latter are usually referred to as "the 
two Little Men," "the two Red Men," etc.] 

a'a' aGi''th*-ya' i;ni't}9r)9''.i' ^^ a'Da*no"VD't*i' | 

this suffering— E whenever they are ill the medicine 

SGe" I 'a'-no-"GWO« 'a't'pria-'nfGa' Galcj-^df'-tlo"' ^^ «e-'tst'o*tsti' 

now then! ha! now thou hast come to listen above-toward they have put 

thee staying 

I k'o-'lano°' o°'*naGe-'° \v>a-"''\veli--yu' \ Go'u'sti tsunu-'tti 

raven black thou (art a) wizard — E something thou failest 

ni^Ge'so'na' | *a''-no*Gwo'' e'^DZaDzo'^'o'^'t'aiit'Ga' asGf'na 

never ha! now they have caused thee to come down ghost 

u-'DShlO^t-GWO''" 'iGe-'se-".i' | *a--ntG9-'waDO*'naGWa'°lo.e-'stt-GWO'^ 

it has been said— L that which is, App. ha! a trace of trampling will be— L 

* Follows the song, "The men have just passed by," etc. 
^^ Panax trifolium L. (dwarf ginseng; groundnut). 
" Nicotiana rustica L. (wild tobacco). 

12 W. Dial, form; C. Dial.: units^ri^-.i. 

13 -tio", W. Dial, suffix; C. Dial.: -tso",-Dzo". 


tsa^b-'s-Q-.i' I *a-nD-"'Gwo" De-'t'o'tlfaiifca' | V-'-sg'naGa'^lo-'Gi 

thou passed — TL ha!— now thou h;ist come to put him hal it broken 

on his (legs) 

Ge*S9"'.i 'o*'stiGoHlam-Ga' y'lsGe'Do"' | Di;wo"lu''\va.t'j".ti' iit'Ge'- 

it is, TL thou hsvst come to put it it important it to be returned never 

(sol) between two ... 

sgna' | nD°"t'9'ne-'lfGa' | *a'.i;so'*t--yi' wo'°'-tTt'o*t'st*anfGa' 

thou hast come to do it hal night— Loc yonder thou hast put it to stay 

for him 

DaDu'^kt^aJo^'sti' m^Ge'SQ'na' | utsi^nawa^ ni;''D9.t'an9-'°D9 

it to look back never beyond it it has been said at the 

stretched same time 

5 sGe" I *a-no-"Gwo'J' *a t^Qqa-'m-Ga' Galo-McJf'-tlo"'^-' 'e-Hst'o'tsti' j 

Now then! hal now thou hast come to listen above-toward they have put thee 


k*o-'lan5° Gt'^Ga-Ge''" (etc.) 
raven blood-like 

sGe" I *a-no-"Gwo"' 'a't'9r)a-'nfGa' GalQ-^ldf'-tB"' 'e-'tstVisti' | 

now then! ha! now thou hast come to listen above towards they have put thee 


k'o-'lano° sa'Vo-ni' (etc.) 

raven blue 

sGe" I *a'-no-"Gwo«' 'a^t^Qija-'rifGa' wa't'li GalQ^-ldf'-tlo''^ '' 

now then! hal now thou hast come to listen (south) above 

lO'^e'tsto'tsti' I k'o*'lano° tsunc'co" (etc.) | utst^nawa' aDD*'nfGa' 

they have put raven thou white beyond it stretched it has been said 

thee staying 

*i'a' aGt''tlf-ya' v'nitlQrjg-'.i^^ a'Da* ii^-'wo'tT | a'skwani;*'ts'Asti' 

this sulTering — E whenever they are ill the medicine for sucking 

tso-'4-aGay9"°'li u'niDZf'lo'no'/i Go°'t'oti' a^no'skutb-'^-Gwo"^' | 

tobacco old they have been to use with it (sol.) used to be kept in the 

flowers mouth 

k'a naso*'"lo-N*3°^ | tso"'l-tyi;s'ti-Nc3°' ustf'Ga i!''nalf'Go!a°' | 

(wild parsnip)-and tobacco-like and it small they together 

aDe-'lo-N*5°' Da'^M | Go'u'sti-N!3°' yu-'t*ASiiyg-'no° saVo*to°'-!i-Gwo"' 

beads-and they (sol) somethiug-and if it united with it mud— Loc— L 

used to be 
lying down 

15a.'ti DaW0"tl8-GW0°' ty9*'"D8 

put it it over itself— L far 


This is the Medicine When They are Sick With Sharp Pains 


(a) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Black Raven; 
they have placed thee above. Thou powerful wizard, thou never 
failest in anything. Now they have let thee down. It is merely a 
ghost that has caused it. There shall only remain the traces of tram- 
pling where thou hast passed. Now thou hast come to put him on his 
feet. Thou hast come to put the important thing between a crevice 
of Broken Rock, its track never to be found; thou hast come to do 

" -tlo°, W. Dial, suffix; C. Dial.: -tso°, -dzd". 
15 W. Dial, form; W. Dial. -t}->C. Dial. -ts-. 


Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 173 

(that very thing) for him. Ha, thou hast taken it away to the 
Night Land, to remain. It will never return. Relief has been caused 
at the same time. 

(b) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen. Red Raven; 
they have placed thee above (etc.). 

(c) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen. Blue Raven; 
they have placed thee above (etc.). 

(d) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen. White Raven; 
they have placed thee above, toward the south (etc.). 

This is the medicine when they are sick with sharp pains. For 
sucking, the flowers of old tobacco are to be used. They are just to 
be held in the month (i. e., chewed), and wild parsnip and the small 
tobaccolike (plant), they along with it. 

And if anything be mixed with it (i. e., with the saliva, after 
sucking), it should be put down into the mud, as far as an overhand 


[This formula is the one edited under another caption (tsv'nda- 
ye"'ltGO'kt'ano'H a'na'n^-'wo'tT), "the medicine (for) when they 
simulate (a real sickness)," by Mooney in his SFC, pp. 366-369.] 

11 Ji'a' r9*Vo"t*i' tsv'niyo'H'aGi.a^ | 

this to cure with they have them itching 

i;ni'sttlo°.t'sti-Gwo"' so.t'(-Nc3°^^) vstf'aa' i;D0''t8GwuD0°^ 

they came to stick to— L other-and it small all day 

yndt^'t*a.sti' | na.'ski-Gwo^' ni'Ga* g*' | Ga-kt'g'oS" 

they must drink it this— L all it restricted 

aGO-'no° I 


This is to Cure With, When They Have Them Itching 


Merely the "they-make-them-stick-to-it" (-plant) and (also) the 
other small (variety). They must drink it aU day. And this is all 
there is to it. The injunction is, fasting. 


As this formula, like all the others, was written by the medicine 
man to assist his own memory, rather than to give any explicit infor- 
mation to the outside world, the wording is indefinite, as regards both 

18 Interpolation by editor. 


the malady and the cure. [As already stated (see p. 157), the formulas 
or prescriptions, as written down without order by a medicine man in 
his notebook or on stray scraps of paper, do not always have a title, 
and often even lack any indication whatever as to the disease against 
which they are to be used.] 

The disease is described as an itching of the, privates, which causes 
the patient to scratch the parts affected, thus producing painful sores. 
[Women as well as men may suffer from it.] It is the result of 
having urinated, when a chUd, upon the fire, the ashes, or upon an 
ant hill. In the first two cases the act is a profanation of the fire, 
which is esteemed sacred (see p. 21), and children are frequently 
warned against committing such a sacrilege. In the other case the 
revengeful ants deposit their eggs on the privates, thus causing an 
irritation of these parts, [Also urinating along a traU, in the yard 
surrounding the house, in a place where an animal has been killed, 
and in the river, are all acts which may result in an ailment such as 
is here vaguely described as "itching." Informants do not agree as 
to whether the itching is internal or cutaneous. In the first case the 
disease is but a sympton of another illness, as, e. g., 
vJie'G9 yi;nf'n8ni;'G0*tc'e''a 
u'nQ-'°Di tsa-'ndi'k'o'ca" 
and is now occasionally by "modernists" among the medicine men 
held to be part and parcel of a disease of venereal nature. When 
the itching is cutaneous it is quite possible, from the description of 
symptoms given, that we are dealing with a case of "itch-worm" 
{Sarcoptes (Acarus) scabiei).] 

The disease may foUow immediately on the commission of one of 
the acts mentioned above, or may lie dormant until manhood or 
womanhood is reached. 

[The plants used are u'ntstdS.t'sti €''gwo^\ Lappula virginiana (L.) 
Greene, beggar's lice, u^ntstdo.t'sti fstf'ca, Cynoglossum virginianum 
L., wild comfrey.] 

The affected parts bathed with a decoction of the roots, while 
another portion of the decoction is drunk by the patient, who, while 
under treatment, entirely abstains from anything else in the nature 
of food and drink. [The patient may drink the decoction at intervals 
of an hour or half an hour, from sunrise to noon, when he is allowed 
to break his fast, after which the treatment is considered ended for 
the day. In severe cases, though, he may not eat until sunset; in 
either of the two cases the treatment is continued for four days.] 




snake(s) they have made them ill the medicine this 

•ya" I 'a-'no-Gwo^' t'na'DO^ Go^'na'ce-'" 'a-'oalQ-'ldi e-'oza- 

Sharply hal now snake it black ha! above they have 


tb-'5"'t'anrie-°.i' ^^ I fna'Do" asof'ng-Gwo"'' °.i | 

let thee down— App snake ghost L it is— App 

e-'DZatb-'o"'t'aIirie-°.i'^^ |k'o-'la tS^'N^t-'oo" Dt'k'ayu.'Ga' tSQ'^ 

they have let thee down, App bone(s) they living-for-ever teeth they 

Na-'D5° De''Di;*G9'wa*'"wsaDaDt''l€"°.i' | nono'-!i Dy'Dana''= 5 

living for- he has advanced them toward trail — Loc they stretch 


"waDe-G-Q-.'i I t-na'D9-Gwo'^' Go''naGe°' Ge*se-'°.i | *a-no-'Gwu-Df' 

themselves out, snake — L it black it is, App hal now -E 

't'tsAsko'tltst'l€"°.i' 'i'DZaye''lo*st'le*°.i' | i;D0*'li;'wci.'t5°.ti' 

he advanced and bit thee he has made thee hke it, App he to be retraced 

nt'Ge-SQ-na' | 'a-'no-"Gwo"' k'o*'la tsQ-N!t-'D5" dd""so° De-'Ga= 

never ha! now bone(s) they living- (weakened (?) ) they have 


^lo-'^sfGa' m'tsQ-nf:' | V-tsu'tl^'wt'Do-Gwo' Ge*se''°.i 

become broken thou hast it so ha thou faltering L it is — App. 


I *a-no*'Gwu-Dt*.' De''atl9'Wt'sfGa' | 'a-no"'Gwu-Dt'.' stt'sGuya' 10 

ha now E thou hast become ha! now E you two men 


dt'st'Asti'Ga' sttDa-'"we!t'-yu' | *a-no'"Gwo''' u'sonu-'lt'-yu' 

you two little you two wizards L ha! now quickly E 

e-'stath"\o"'t'a'n(.-Ga' ^^ | fna'co" Go'na'Ge-Gwo^' Ge-sr' | fna'D5° 

they have let you two down snake it black -L it is, snake 


aSGf'na i;-lsGe*'DO° ^'Di;nu''y'te*°.i' | ^'Di;ye-'lo"St"le*°.i' i;DO*'li)'= 
ghost it important which he has put which he has made to be 

under— App like, App 

vva'.to^.ti' nt'Ge'SQ'na' | i;lsGe-'Do° 't'Dunu*'y'te'''.i' | no''Gwu= 

retraced never it important he has put it under — now 


Dt:' 'o°'-stt'y^''"st'anfGa' | ii'so''f-yi' \vo°'-sU'yo°''st'anfGa' 15 

E again you two have come to night— Loc toward yonder you two have 

take it (sol.) away come to take it (sol.) 

Gane'sa' DtGo''naGe-'° Do-'Dtt'o"tst-Q.' \vV-stiskwaniGO*'t'anfGa' 

bos(es) they black they are being kept toward yonder you two have come to 

T. L. put it stored up as you two go by 

sta*so't'a*9"s-9'' i;tst''na"wa' ny'DB.t'aiiQDo. 

you two have turned beyond it- it has been said 

T L stretched at the same time 

i;Se*'lftT no'WO'tT DtDZO''t'a.e-'ti-GWO"' | k^'IlH' a'nskftsGQ'.'i 
it held erect to cure with they must be blown — L noticeable whenever they 


I tSi-'yu-Nb°' 

(poplar) -and 



u'niye-'b'ist?" .\ — gwo^' 

snake (s) 

they have bit them 

they have made it like 
it (habit.)— L 



to be used 

that which 

with it 

was, H 


" W. Dial, form; W. Dial. -ti>C. Dial. ts-. 

'8 Emendation by J. M.; instead of e*statb'o"'t'anile"°.i, they have let you two 

19 W. Dial, form; W. Dial. -tl->C. Dial, -ts-, 
7548°— 32 13 


If Snakes Have Bitten Them, This is the Medicine 


Ya! Ha! now, Black Snake, they have caused thee to come down, 
it seems. The snake (that has bitten him) is only a ghost, it seems. 
They have caused thee to come down, it seems. 

The ever-living bones, the ever-living teeth it has advanced 
toward him,^ it seems. It was only a black snake that laid itself 
about the trail, it seems. But right now, it feigned to bite thee,^° 
it seems. Its track would never be found (it thought). 

But nov/ the ever-living bones have been made weak; thou ^^ art 
now in such a condition. There has been hesitation (on thy^^ part) 
it seems. Ha! now thou ^^ hast become faltering. 

But at this very moment you Two Little Men, you Two Powerful 
Wizards, they have caused you two to come down. It was a black 
snake, it seems, but the snake is merely a ghost (and) it has feigned 
to put the disease under him,^ it seems; (it thought) its track would 
never be found. But now you two have come to take it away. 
Where the black boxes are, you two have gone to store it up. As 
soon as you two have turned round, relief wiU have been caused at 
the same time. 

Rattlesnake Fern is the medicine. It is merely to be blown on 
them. The symptoms are that they dream that snakes have bitten 
them. And they (the snakes) usually cause it to be the same (as if 
they had really bitten them); poplar should be used with it. 


The sickness for which this formula is intended is a form of 
nightmare, resulting from some irregularity in regard to eating. 
The symptoms and the theory of the disease are well set forth 
in the formula itself, which abounds in poetic expressions. Accord- 
ing to the theory, as is stated in the prescription, when one 
dreams that he has been bitten by a snake the result is just the 
same as that of an actual snakebite. [The treatment, however, is 
different (see Formula No. 47, p. 240).] If the patient does not 
submit himself to the treatment as here prescribed, the spot bitten in 
his dream will become red and ulcerate [maybe months or] perhaps 
years afterwards, and the victim wiU become ill with aU the symp- 
toms of an actual snakebite. The same rule holds good in all other 
cases, dreams being regarded as prophecies of coming facts. [See 
p. 40.] There are other formulas for treating other classes of 
snake dreams. These nightmare dreams are very frequent with 
the Indians in consequence of bad cookery, late suppers, and irregular 

20 The patient, ^^ Disease-snake. 


The medicine men explain that the ghosts of the snakes, or some- 
times of the fish, in order to take vengeance on those who destroy 
or offend them, "spoil the saliva" of the offending ones by causing 
them to dream of snakes and fishes twining and crawling over them, 
biting them and blowing fetid breath into their faces, until the 
victims become disgusted with food and lose appetite and strength. 

The medicine is then given to induce vomiting, by which the 
'•'spoiled saliva" is dislodged, when the patient recovers. Whatever 
may be thought of the theory or of the medicine actually used, the 
principle of the application is undoubtedly correct. 

The first part of the prayer is addressed to the Black Snake above, 
which is evidently expected to drive out the disease snake. The 
second paragraph calls upon the Two Little Men — the Thunder 
Boys, the sons of k'ana-'ti (see Mooney, Myths, p. 242) — to take 
the disease spirit to the Night Land in the West and put it away 
in the black boxes or coffins. The reason for invoking these "Two 
Little Men" here will be explained in Formula No. 20, page 196. 
The sick man finds relief as soon as the Little Men turn round to 
come back after accomplishing their task. In one place the medicine 
man speaks directly to the patient, who, however, has no chance 
to catch the meaning of the whispered • words. "Black boxes" 
or "coffins" are frequently mentioned in the formulas. They are 
sometimes "buried out West in the black mud, with a black stone 
on top of them." The "ever-living bones," synonym of the "ever- 
living teeth," are referred to in most of the formulas concerning 
snakes. The Cherokee, like other Indians, has a great reverence 
for snakes in general, but for rattlesnakes in particular, and is 
careful never to offend one, even by word. In accordance v/ith 
the principle often applied in the formulas of belittling a serious 
ailment, it is customary, when a man has been bitten by a snake, 
to announce that he has "been scratched by a brier." [See p. 14.] 

The medicine used is a decoction of rattlesnake fern [Botrychium 
virginianum (L.), Sw.l root, boiled down to a sirup. The medicine 
man recites the whole formula, then rubs some of the decoction 
upon the spot where the patient dreams that he has been bitten, 
and finally blows his breath upon it four times. The whole ceremony 
is repeated four times, and, in addition, the patient drinks a small 
portion of the sirup. 

In the absence of the plant named, the medicine man uses a 
decoction of poplar bark [Liriodendron tulipifera L.l, the root being 
used in the same way; or he sometimes simply chews some poplar 
bark or a small portion of the root of u'naste''^Ga [AristolocTiia 
ser'pentaria L.; Virginia snakeroot] and blows it upon the spot 
after reciting the formula. The medicine may be rubbed on at 
intervals by some one of the patient's family, but the blowing, 



IBULL. 99 

with the rest of the ceremony, is performed by the medicine man, 
who makes the four apphcations the same morning, beginning soon 
after sunrise and ending about noon, (See No. 95, p. 307.) 

The effect of drinldng the sirup is to induce vomiting and thus 
reheve the stomach. When one dreams that he has been bitten by 
a snake he must be rigidly secluded and should not be seen by an 
outsider for four days. 


a a 


SGe" I 

now tlien 


to cure with 


to give it to them 
to drink— E 

a ni ye* Di 

thev eat it 

y'nitl9q9''.i ^^ 

whenever they are ill 

'u'u' Dalo-'ni Di;'Da-N!t*€'"'l5!i' | u'lsGe-'DS" DLinu-'yH'a:nf'le-''= 

chat yellow he (E.) has thought it it important 

he (E.) has put 
it under- 





from broad 
to narrow 



Ge' S-Q.l 

it is— T L 


it important 






ever-marshy swamp 

Ge" = 

it is, 

Duni;-'y't'ani'le-°[.i] e'so-'tli 

he (E.) has put it under, App from broad 
to narrow 

5i;DO-lu'VQ;.t5°.ti' niGe-'sQ-na' | Di;'Da-N!t'e''*le-°.i' 

it to be retraced never he (E.) has thought it, App 

SGe" ! no-'^'GWO^' ^aH'^qa-'m-Ga' tsotlo"' ^3 

Now then now thou hast come to listen 

ata' u''staDO-'Gi tso'tlt'o't'sttDe'Ga' 

thou art stajing, moving about 

Ge- SO.l 

it is, T.'l. 

Gf GaGe- ".1 

blood like 




Dunv'y't'antie-^.i' -* 

He (E.) has put it under 



thou failest 


I '(.Da''"W€!i'-GOGa' | 

thou (art a) wizard— very E 

u'u' Dalo-'ni uIsgc-'do" 

chat yellow it important 

no"'"Gwo" u'som^'li De''t'askob'o°*t'anfGa' | 

now quickly 

nfGe' sQ'na 


thou hast come to make him 
let go his hold, as thou goest by 

10 utst''no!Wa' ny'DO't'any-'Do" 

beyond-it it has been said at 

stretched the same time 

!t'a' n9*'wo't'i' di'u'dI 

this to cure with to give it 

to them to 

a m ye* Di 

they eat it (kn.) 


whenevex they are ill 



Dalo-'ni a-'ndfk'o'g-'.i i'ne-'G8-N'5° yi;nf'n8nLi'Gotc'€'!a | 

yellow whenever they urinate while -and if, to them, it comes out 

yGQ-'wutli' ! nQ-Vo-t't-N*5°' u-'G-at'asGf'ski so.i'-N'5°' 

it value for 



this here 



V yQ'Du WlDO 

it is covered 


restri Cited 





to cure with, and coming out it oozes out, 11 other, and 

tsi'ki Ga'tluD-Q-' tsu'MyeG?-' i 

that which is it has climbed— T L they stand up, H 

vng-'^ni na'Vo'.G5' ye'li' 

milk however possible 

Di-'k'anQ-'wo't'i' i;'niskwo-= 

to cure them their stomach 






they must do 

I GO t* DO" 

it has been 
made a period 

e-'ldi DiGo°.'staN!ti' 

low they must hit them 




they yellow like 

22 W. D. -11- >C. D. -ts-. 

23 Emendation by J. M. — Instead of tso* l-J" (=tobacco). 
2* Emendation by Editor — Instead of Dunt-'y't'ani'le-"'i. 

oIbrIchts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 179 

t'a^li' a'niGaGe-'" na/skwo"^' Va^li Da'?-'i | aGD-'no" vBO-'tQ- 

two they red also two they (sol) completely all 

have been 

lying down, 


GwuDo"' I e''ldi ts-u'''xk'al9''.i' kMa*'° i;'nulsta*'yHr Ge'sg'.i 

day low distant he perches then they have to take food it was, H 

This is to Cure With, to Give it to Them to Drink When They 
Are Sick With "Eaters" 


Now then! The Yellow Chat has caused it, it seems. He has put 
the important thing under him, where his abdomen is. (And also) 
the Yellow Frog, yonder in the ever-muddy marsh, has put the 
important thing under his abdomen, his track never to be refound. 
He has caused it, it seems. 

Now then! Now thou hast come to hear, Red Kingfisher, thou 
stayest, mo\dng about, in the treetops. Thou art a powerful wizard 
indeed. Thou never failest in anything. The Yellow Chat has put 
the important tbing under him. Now thou hast quickly come to 
make hmi reUnquish his grasp. Relief has been caused. 

This is to cure with, to give it to them to drink, when they are 
sick with "eaters." The symptoms are that they urinate yeUow, 
and (also) if white (matter) comes out of it (when they urinate) 
this is for the purpose of it. And to cure with: The pus-oozes-out- 
(plant), and the other (variety) which is wrapped up in red, and 
grows on the liUlside. 

Restricted (are): four (days) salt. Milk, however, they must 
abstain from as long as possible. To cure them, they should be hit 
(i. e., iTibbed) w|;iere tbeir stomach is, low down. And two yellow 
beads (and) red beads, also two, should be lying down. Fasting 
(is to be observed) all day. Wlien she (i. e., the sun) perches low 
down, going away from us, then they should eat. 


This formula is for treating a urinary or kidney disease, technically 
known as a^nt^ye^'Di " they eat it (kn.), hab." 

The disease is described as first manifesting itself by a pain in the 
lower part of the back and abdomen, the latter also becoming swollen. 
Urination is difficult, and the discharge is yellow, and sometimes white 
and mucous. 

The theory of disease has been already explained. (See p. 14.) 
In this instance the most obvious symptom being the yellow urine, 
two yellowish animals are held responsible for the trouble, and the 
Red (i. e. successful, powerful) Kingfisher hovering above in the 
treetops is invoked to drive out or break the hold of the disease 
spirit, figuratively called ["the important thing"]. 


While performing the ceremony the medicine man has four beads 
lying near him upon a cloth, two of these beads being yellow to 
represent the disease, the other two being red and respresenting the 
curing agent. 

The medicine used is an infusion of the bruised root of v^Gai^as- 
Gi*'ski, spurge {Euphorbia hypericijolia L. and of another variety 
u-'Gat'as=Gi*'ski Gf^GaGe*'" y'^iygDu^wtDa": Euphorbia coroUata L.; 
flowering spurge). 

This is given in large quantities [4-5 liters] to be dnmk by the 
patient, who remains fasting each day until about sundown. At 
frequent intervals the medicine man rubs the abdomen of the patient, 
using for this purpose only his bare hand, neither moistening it with 
the liquid nor warming it near the fire. 

There is a characteristic and interesting correlation of ideas in 
the milky discharge, the "pus-oozes-out" plant application and the 
milk taboo. 


sGe" I *a'-nD-"GWo''' u'so'H DO'tsu-'le'nf' VQ'wi' o^^'naGe*''' 

now then ha! now night, Loc he has arisen, facing, human it black 

us, App being 

'••'Ga aye^'li I Dalo-'ni Ga''ne-'Q-' a''DtGe''D5° Di;DO*'ne*tlil€*°.i' 

day middle yellow it (liq) is in it, T L it, moved about he (E.) has cometo do 

it for him, App 

I Dalo-'nt-Gwo^" Ge-'sf'^.i' y'lisGe-'no" ^'Dym»-''yt'ant'l€.i' | 

it yellow— L it is — App it important which he (E.) has placed 

under, App 

SGe" I V-no'^Gwo"^' 'a't'or)a*'ntGa' tso'^stowa' Dalo-'ni 

now then hal now thou has come Killdee Bird yellow 

to listen 

a'm-okt^a' Dalo'ni' De'stutsGu'tlAw'ist'aDi'oa' | GO*'t-e*GWoyi ^^ 

r water, peeping yellow you two have become as one marsh it big, Loc 

GeS-Q-' Dt'stotlt'o't'sti I u'sony'li DO-''tsta''le''Q-l]a' I Dalo-'ni= 

it is, T L you two are staying quickly you two have arisen, it 

facing us 

GWO"^' G€*S-0"'.i I Dalo*'m Game-'^"' a*'DtGe"'DO° sta^D6*N!e'^= 

yellow— L it is— T L yellow it (liq) is in it, T L it, moved about you two 

have come 

ifGa' I sta'tsanp-'rji-Gwo"^' Gese-°'.i | *o°"-stiVo°"st*anfGa' 

to do it for your (2) adornment L it is, App again, you 2 have come to take 

for him it (sol) away as you 2 go by 

Go'*t-€''Gwu'' a'tsan^-'rji (u-'lsGe-'no"^^) a*'skwaniGO-'tott(-"yi)'-^ 

swamp it big for his adorn it important it is put in store— Loc 

lOstt^skwantGO-'t'ani'Ga' | tcg-'wulsto-'ti-Gwo^' | i;tst"nawa' 

you two have come to put it in what is it worthi L beyond-it 

store as you two go by stretched 

ni;*^D0.t'an9-'°D3° | no""ston€-'lt'Ga' 

it has been said at you two have come 

the same time to do it for him 

25 Contraction of tGo'ti (=swamp) €-Gwa!i (where it-big is). 

28 Interpolation by ayo-'sta, a native medicine woman, recorded by J. M, 

2^ Interpolation by aya'sta, recorded by J. M. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 181 

Ji'a' Dalo-'ni u'nitlg'rjQ-'.i ^^ i;"'n9Dt*yg-'°Dair Di'k'an9*'wo*tT | 

this it yellow whenever they are ill their navel to cure them with 

aDzf'l5° Da'g-'i Dt^k'ano'wo't'f-yi' 

fire they (sol) used to cure 

to bo lying down them with, Loc 

This is When They Are Sick With the "Yellow" 


Now then! Right now, in the middle of the day, the Black Man 
has arisen, it seems, from the night land. Where the bile is stag- 
nant, he has come to wallow in it, it seems. It was merely bile, it 
seems. He had put the important thing under him, it seems. 

Now then! Right now thou hast come to hear. Yellow Killdee 
Bird, and thou. Yellow Small Fish, you two have been caused to 
become united to one. You two are staying where the great swamp 
is. Quickly you two have arisen, facing this way. 

It is merely bile. You two have come to wallow there where the 
bile is stagnant. It (i. e., the bile) is the very thing you two adorn 
yourselves with. As you two go by, you have gone to take it away 
to the great swamp for its adornment; you two have come to go and 
store the important thing as you go by, at the place where it is to be 
stored. Who cares what happens to it? Relief has been caused at 
the same time. You two have come to do it for him [the patient]. 

This is when they are sick with the "yellow," to treat their navel 
with. Fire (live coals) should be lying down while treating them. 


This formula is for treating one of the many varieties of Dalomi 
or "yellow." (See p. 182.) 

As stated in the introduction, various causes may be held respon- 
sible for this disease, the agent in this case being the Black Person, or 
the Black Man in the night land. (See p. 24.) The expression 
f'oa aye'^'li" which may mean "in the middle of the sky," as well as 
"in the middle of the day," occurs in many of the formulas, especially 
in those recited against Dalomi and against fever, but the reason is 
not obvious. In one case a medicine man told [Mr. Mooney] that the 
illness began at noon, and that on this account the disease-spirit 
was referred to as arising in the middle of the day. 

The animal spirits invoked as curing agents are both yellow like 
the disease. [In some cases (see p. 179) they are of opposite colors.] 

The amekt'a [ama'=water; akt*a=he is peeping out from] is a 
fish hardly an inch in length, appearing in schools in the summer, 
aud is simply a newly hatched individual of the common varieties. 

28 W. D. -tl-=C. D. -ts-. 



[Bull. 99 

The color of the animal spirits being yellow explains the expression: 
"It is the very thing you two adorn yourselves "s\dth." The bile is 
supposed to have become stagnant, and these animals are expected 
to effect a cure by walloAving in it and thus stirring it up. It is with 
the same object in view that the medicine man rubs the stoma,ch of 
the patient, viz, to scatter the "clotted " bile. (See p. 62.) 

The symptoms of the disease are a vomiting of bile and a throbbing 
and soreness about the navel, so that the slightest touch is painful; 
[the umbilic region] also becomes much swollen. While the disease 
is believed to be primarily the work of revengeful animal ghosts, the 
doctor from whom the formida was obtained said that the immediate 
cause was that the gall (a*t'a'Go°) sometimes [by the native medicine 
men] confounded with the bile (Dalo'ni), gets into the veins and 
collects under the navel (!) He claimed this as an original discovery 
and prided himself upon it accordingly. 

No medicine is used, the medicine man simply rubbing the sore 
spot with his hands previously warmed over the fire as described 
on page 62. The medicine man recites the formula in a whisper, 
while rubbing bis hands together over the fire. Then laying them 
flat upon the seat of pain, he draws them slowly down over the place, 
blowing upon the spot once at the end. This operation is repeated 
four times at each application, and four appKcations complete the 
treatment, the first being about sunrise and the last just before noon, 
as already explained. In this and most other forms of Dalo*ni the 
tsu^Gftsuyo'^.'sti fish (Horny Head) is tabooed on account of its 
tendency to rapid decay. '^ 

Both the medicine man and his assistant, but not the patient, 
abstain from food until after the fourth applicatibn. 


u'^ndt'yQ'^Dali a'Da'no-'wo-tT !t'a' 

their navel to cure any one with this 

SGe" I *a^-no-GWo'^ 
Now then ha I Now 


lake, big 

I *a'-Go'u'sti 

ha, something 



tDa" "We:i I 

thou wizard 

thou hast arisen, 
facing us 


thou hast said 


where they cling 
to each other 


thou hast come to listen 


thou art staying 


it escapes from my (sight) 




ha, now 

ntGe" S9*na 


I n9' no-a 

trail (s), Loc 


thou hast come to (push it) 

with the crown of thy 

head back to where 

it ought to be 


th«y lie for thee stretched out 
as thou comest hither 


it important 


it important 


he has said it 

t*a DiGo'tlt'anfGa' 

thou hast come to 
push it away 

ulSGe- D9 

it important 




as high as— T L 







t^'tt'o't'sfant-Ga' I 

thou hast come to put 
it staying there 


they will app 
in all 


they will appear continuously 
in all directions 

it important 


it all surrounded 

JIQ- no'i 

trail(s), L 


Now then 

GalQ-'idi aye'"il 

above middle 

thou hast arisen 
facing us 


aDo nfGa 

it has been said 


ha. Now 

utSt*'na\Va' lltGQ-'DtSGfSti' 

beyond it, stretched out he will be saying it 

*a't'9ija''nfGa' tsfya' tsVska"se'\ti'-yu' 

thou hast come to listen otter 

Q-'Dale-'Gwo" Dt'tsotlt'o't'sti 

lake, big thou art staying 

added at the end, :) 'ya^ 

\ Da-"W€a 

thou wizard 



hou fearful— E 

*a'-no-Gwo"' 5 

ha. Now 

a GWADe'lt'tcVti 



thou keen-eyed one 

Di;"na"'Dutl9*' (etc.) 



This is the AIedicine for Their Navel 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to Hsten, Red Otter, thou 
wizard; thou art staying at the great lake; ha, now thou hast arisen 
facing us. "Nothing ever escapes my (sight)" thou hast said. 
The trails are lying stretched for thee (to allow) thee to come hither. 

Where he^^ has put the important thing against him,^'^ thou 
hast come to push it with the crown (of thy head) back to where 
it ought to be What had become an important thing thou hast 
come to push away as thou goest by. 

Where the foam is (piled up) high thou hast gone to put the 
important thing to stay. The trails will surround the important 
tiling from all directions. Relief will be caused continuously; 
relief has been caused. 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou fearful Otter 
in the great lake in midheaven, thou art staying. But now thou 
hast arisen from there, facing us. Thou wizard! "Nothing ever 
escapes from my (sight)," thou hast said. Thou art most keen-eyed. 
The trails are lying stretched for thee (to enable) thee to come 

Where he ^^ has put the important thing against him ^° (etc.). 


This is another formula for the cure of navel-Dalo'ni, and the 
cure is the same as the one described in No. 7, page 180. 

The medicine man was of the opinion that there was another 
paragraph, addressed to the Fire, and which was probably recited 

29 The disease-spirit. 

30 The patient. 




bj^ the medicine man while warming his hand, prior to rubbing 
the patient's stomach, but it does not appear in the original manu- 

The observant habit of the Indian is shown in the reference to 
the watchfulness of the otter, one of its distinguishing characteris- 

The feature of quoting the words of the spirit invoked, as in this 
case the medicine man quotes the words of the otter, occurs fre- 
quently in the formulas, especially in those addressed to the Fire. 
[As students of comparative folklore Avdll laiow, this feature is also 
often met with in European formulas, the most universally knovm 
specimen being the First Merseburger Conjuration.^'] 


Now then 

Gwu-Dt* na 

Now— E 


ha! now 




ha! Now 




Danin€-'si;'G6''(.i^^) | 

whenever they have them drooping 
i;''s3nD*'li aksld' tso'Nali'Ga" 

quickly enemy he has come to hit thee 

a'kski-GWo"' tso'NaloJi' 'tGe-'se'°.i 

a-no" = 


enemy, L (=E) 


beyond-it stretched — L 


it for him 



I utst'^nawa' 

beyond it stretched 


whenever they have them 


they must be blown— L 

ye"ti' 't'GeSD'.i' 

rabbed that which used to be 

aDo ntGa 

it has been said' 

this here 


wood green 

he has hit thee that which is— App. 

ni;''D8.t'ang-'''^D8 no°'t'o'ne-'= 

it has been said at 
the same time 

thou hast 
come to do 

I SGe' 
now then! 


so far like 

i,'GaWe''sti 't'ci' 

it is to be said that which is 


to cure with-and 


they must be 

This (is for) When They Have Them Drooping 


Now then! Ha, just now the enemy has suddenly come and struck 
thee. Ha, just now indeed, the enemy himself struck thee, it appears. 
Ha, now relief indeed has been caused at the same time, thou hast 
come to do it for him. KeKef indeed has been caused. Now then! 

This (is for) when they have them drooping. Just like this it has 
to be said. It should be blown on them, alder (which) is the medi- 
cine, (or) it should be rubbed on them. 


Dant'ne*'si;*G9-'.i is the technical name for an affection of the eyes 
in which the sufferer is unable to bear the strong light of the sun or of 

3^ Cf. also some European parallels: v. Hov. & Kr. II, 77, 332, 399. 
22 Emendation by editor. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 185 

the blazing fire without pain. In treating it, the medicine man uses 
an infusion of alder bark, which he blows or rubs into the open eyes 
of the patient. 

The medicine man sometimes simply chews the bark and blows out 
the juice upon the eyes. [The disease is caused by seeing a rattle- 
snake; the snake is being referred to by a circumlocution: aksld' so as 
not to offend it the more by calling its name. It is worthy of 
interest that even the common name of the rattlesnake, vDzo'N'ti', 
is a euphemism, meaning "the admirable one" (■s/-tso-N*-=adniire.) 
(See p. 14.)] 


Dant^n€"su*G9'.'[i] a'Da'nQ-'wo't't' ct'a' | 

when they have them the medicine this 


,*a-D9-'"tawa' '6-Da-'"we!i' | GalQ-'ladi' t'aDi;-'y9-na' | vtst"'- 

ha I roller thou wizard above thou hast formed thyself beyond it 

na'"wa' aDo^'nfGa' | ts^lu'st | tsvlu'st | tsu'lu'st | 

it stretched it has been said (Onomat.) 

tSi;-lu'st I 

When They Have Them Drooping, This is the Medicine 


O Miller, thou wizard, thou hast originated on high. Relief has 
been caused. 


This is another formula for the same purpose as the one last given. 
The medicine man uses no medicine, but simply sings the verse, and 
then blows his breath four tunes, into the eyes of the patient. The 
ceremony is generally repeated four tunes. 

[The DQ'Dawa' (really aDQ'Dawa') is a smaU whitish miller, which 
flies about the light at night. The name impHes that it "playfully 
rolls over and over (in the flame)." A word of the same stem, 
"aD^Dawtska," is used for hens curing their feathers in the dust, 
and also for dogs playfully roUing over in the grass or in the snow.] 

On account of its affinity for the fire, the DQ^'oawa' is invoked in all 
that the medicine men caU "fire diseases." [These include this eye 
trouble because the patient afflicted with it can not stand the glare 
of the blazing fire. Curiously enough, frostbite is also considered 
as belonging to this class, because it affects like a burn or a scald.] 

The final "tsy'lu'st" uttered four times in a sharp voice [may be] 
intended to imitate the sound heard when the insect singes its wings 
in the blaze. 





their navel the medicine this 


now then! 

a* -wo'yi 

hal pigeon 

Dalo'ni 'tDa''"w€*i' wa*'"DaGu' 

yellow thou (art a) wizard goldfinch 

so-"Gwo^' De'^stutsGo'ttAw'ist'anfoa' 

you two have become as one 

it big 

you two are staying 


you two (are) wizards 


you two liave arisen, 
facing us 




swampy laurel- 

I Dala-'= 

it yellow 


it is, App 

— L 


food— L (=E) E 


it important 
that which is, App 

he (e.) has coma to put it under 


your (2) stomachs 


it is for your (2) 

D€" Ge'^stan tso' ' t' a= 

you 2 have come to bury it 


in them 



it has happened so 

u^k*iiwe"D8GW0''^ SGe*'staD6'ne-°.i' 

filled-up, L they have done it for 

you (2), App 

ny^Do'iiQ'na | i;tst'*nawa' in;''D9.t*anQ''°D9 

it has been said beyond it stretched it has been said at the 

(For) Their Navel, This is the Medicine 


Now then! Ha, Yellow Pigeon, thou mzard, (and thou) Yellow 
Goldfinch, you two have become united. You two ■wizards, you are 
staying where the great swampy thicket is. 

Quickly you two have arisen; the important thing is merely bile; 
he^* has put it under him.^^ But that is the very thing you two eat. 
You two have buried them in your stomachs. They have m.ade you 
two filled as you go by, it has become so, and not for one night (but 
forever). Relief has been caused at the same time. 


This formula is for the same purpose as Nos. 7 and 8, and the 
treatment is the same — simple rubbing with the wanned hand. 
The Goldfinch invoked is the American goldfinch (Chrysomitus 
tristis), known in the southern AUeghanies as the flaxbird. [The 
expression regarding "the food being buried in the stomach" is the 
formulistic equivalent for the common expression "to take food" 
(Ga°hsta''y8'o°ska', I take food).] 

35 Emendation by W., editor's informant. 
2* The disease-spirit. 
35 The patient. 

oIbkecIts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 187 


ay€"'kGO''Gi i;'ntye*'lo'no"''i a'Da'nQ'wo'tT Jt'a' | 

simulator (s) thoy have made them Hke the medicine this 

SGe" I GftH' WO-'DiGe'°' *tDa''"we'i' | IlQ'^DO-Gg-yf-DZO" 

now then dog brown thou (art a) wizard sun, first, Loc— direction 


tso'lt'o'tsti' I 'tDa-'"we!i' | Go*u'sti nv^De'lQ-'na [ asGf'na 

thou art staying thou (art a) wizard something it is not overlooked ghost 

i;-^DD'no°'!i ^'Ge-se-'^' Dv'Da-NJt'e-^'lo^^r yt'ld | a^e jQwV 

it has been said that which is, App he (E) has thought it if it is and human 


De'^a^lii' Du'Da-N!t*e-"lo°jr yt'ki | a's€''-GWo"' t^GaWc'DeGWO^' 5 

purple he (E) has thought it if it is falsely L (=E) it has been said L 

yt'ki I aye-'ltGO-'Gt-GWo'" Di;y€''lo*no°"a *t'Ge*se-°' ( no*"- 

if it is simulator— L he (E) has made it that which is — App now 

like it 

Gvvu-Df'na GO'^lu^nQ-'^Dg aDo'*m'Ga' | Gct'tlg'sta'ci aDo'*nfGa' 

— E it has been tracked it has been said it untied it has been 


i;'so*tDD'° nu'^Da^riQ-'iia | DiHsckwo-'li De*"'GaDa'ntso"ttsGe*'sti' | 

night-been it has not been said thy stomachs it shall bury itself con- 

tinuously in it 

t'k'awe-'Da'GWo" Ge*'tsaD9*neH' | iiQ"r)otlst'a^nt"Ga' | tso'tl- 

filled up — L they have-done for thee, App it has happened so for thy 

sta''y'ti-GWu'Dfno' 'i'Ge'se"°' | i;lsGe"'DO° DL)m;'\y't*ant'le*°.i' [ jq 

food— L (=E) E that which is — App if important he (E) has put it 

under it— App 

utSt"naV/9-GW0'^ aDO^'nt^Ga' 

beyond it stretched— L (=E) it has been said 

*t'a' n9*'wo*t*t' tsi-Da'nt*i;''o°ska' | nb.tsi' a'Gano°'!i 

this to cure with those which have to be pine it has been boiled 

given them to drink— H 

Ge''s5*.i' I aD€*'lo-N!5°' v'nme''G8 a'ntGo''naGe'''-N'o'^' 

it used to be beads and they are white they are black, and 


one each 

This is the Medicine (if) Simulators Have Made it Resemble 
IT (i. E., A Real Sickness) 


Now then! Yellow Dog, thou wizard, thou art staying toward 
where the sun land is. Thou wizard, nothing is overlooked (by thee). 

Maybe it is a ghost that has caused it, or maybe it is the Purple 
Man that has caused it. But it has been said falsely — it is merely 
the Simulator who has made it resemble it (a real sickness). 

But now its track has been found. It has been undone, and not 
for a night (but forever). It shall bury itself into thy stomachs. 
They have made thee filled; it has become so again. It is the very 
thing thou eatest. He has put the important thing under him, (but 
now) relief has been caused. 


This is to treat (them) with, (and) which has to be given them to 
drink. Pine (tops) should be boiled. And beads, white and black, 
one of each (should be used with it). 


[This formula is one for the cure of the mysterious variety of 
diseases discussed at length in the introduction, page 33.] 

The symptoms are sudden pains in various parts of the body, due, 
it is alleged, to the fact that a conjurer has shot a stick or some other 
object into the body of the patient. To treat the case, the medicine 
man prepares a decoction of pine tops, an "overhand" (" aDawo'Ma") 
long, taken from seven different trees. After the liquid has boiled, 
the pine tops are taken out of it and put under a piece of cloth (which 
afterwards becomes the medicine man's fee), while four (the formula 
says two) white and black beads, two of each color, are placed on 
top. The medicine man then takes some of the medicine in a cup 
in his outstretched hand, and after reciting the formula, passes the 
cup four times in a circle above the head of the patient, after which 
he gives the medicine to drink. After the ceremony the doctor care- 
fully hides the pine tops away in a hollow log, [a rock crevice] or some 
other place where they mil keep dry. No sucking is prescribed in 
this formula. Say it, merely. 


IX'af a^nisko''li u^ne^t^stame'a' | DtDzo"'t'a.€-'ti' | a"a-Gwo'" 

This their head they ache to them they must be blown this L 

i^GaW€"'sti I wa*ya wa*3^a wa'ya' wa'ya' | du: | a' t'tt-G wb^' 

it to say wolf wolf wolf wolf (Onom.) say it — L 

This (is for) When They Have Their Heads Aching 


They must be blown. And merely this is to be said: Wolf, wolf, 
wolf, wolf. Du! Say it, merely. 


Although this headache formula is from the manuscript of Ay., he 
said that it was not his own, and was unable to give any further infor- 
mation on it. It consists of a song, an invocation of the wolf, followed 
by blowing, but whether of medicine or of the breath alone is not 
stated. The final "du!" is intended as an imitation of some sound 
made by the wolf. The ceremony is probably repeated four times. 






(i;*'ndt"yQ"'Dali a'Da*n6'wo*tT 

their navel the medicine 


Now then 

big laurel 


have become one 

ha now 


thou art staying 

'a't'^rja-'m'Ga' wo'yi' Dalo-ni' suli;-'y= 

thou hast come to listen pigeon yellow swampy 

[ Wa-'"DaGll' Dalo"'m SO'GWO"' De'stuts= 

gold finch yellow one you two 

I stotIsta-'y*itt-Gw5«' 

it for your (2) food— L (=E) 

GeSe-' "[.1 ^'J i;-lsGe-'D9 ^'Dunu-'y't'amre'"!' 

it is, App it important which he (E) put under, App. 

sti'5^o'st'anfGa' | stStlsta-'y'ti-Gwo''' 

you (2) have come to it for your (2) food, L 

talie it (sol) away 

lono'°'5°sGe-'sttGwo'^' sU'y9'st'an(,'Ga' | 

a liiceness left L you (2) have come to 

take it (sol) away 

vts"t"naw8*Gwo^^ aDo'^nt'oa' | 'ya*' 

beyond it stretched, L it has been said Sharply 


it is, App 

Ge* S€-"l 

it is, App. 

1/ SO tDO" 
night, been 

yellow, L 

a- -na na 

ha I there 


I niGO* Waye" 
there shall be 

it has not been said 

Their Navel, this is the Medicine (For) 


Now then! Eight now thou hast come to Hsten, Yellow Pigeon; 
where the great swampy thicket is, thoa art staying; (with) the 
Yellow Goldfinch, you two have become united. 

It is the very thing you two eat, (for) the important thing is merely 
the "yellow." He^^ has put it under him.^^ 

Ha, you two have taken it away again, as you two passed by. It 
is the very thing you two eat. There will be only a likeness of it 
left, where you two have taken it to, as you passed, (and) not for a 
night (but forever). Relief indeed has been caused. Sharply! 


No medicine is used with this formula, the doctor simply applying 
his hands previously wanned, as explained in No. 7, page 182. The 
formula seems to be incomplete, and in the manuscript the latter 
portion is written with pencil, evidently some time after the first 
part had been written. The ceremony is repeated four times at 
each application. 

36 Interpolation by J. M. 
2^ Correction by editor. 
38 The disease-spirit. 
38 The patient. 





u'^ndfyQ-'oali a'Da^np-'wo'tT !tV 

their navel to cure anyone this 


(a) SGe'' I 

Now theul 


marshy thicliet, big 




it is, T L 


thou hast come to 


thou art staying, moving 





t Da""We:t- GO'Ga 

thou wizard, E 


thou failest 



it which he has put under, 

ye'^bno "'o^'sGe^'stt-Gwo"^' 

of it will be left, L 

(b) SGe" 

Now then! 


marsh, big 


thou failest 

Bv "DtGe- 9'. 1 

he rested, T L 

it is, T L 



m'Ge'sp'na' | Dalo"'ni-Gwo°' u-Isg^'do 

never yellow, L it important 

a"\-usonii"'li t'a'DtGal€''*fGa' | ntG9*'wa= 

ha. Quickly thou hast come and a likeness 

pushed it aside 

u'sony'li De*t'otlt'a'nt*Ga' 

quickly thou hast come to put 

him on his (legs) 

'a'-no'Gwo"^' 'a't'9r)a"'nfGa' "wo''yi Da'lo'iii' 

ha, now thou hast come to Pigeon yellow 


tso'tlt'o'tsti' I SDa"'"We!t'-GO"Ga' Go'i;'sti 

thou art staying thou wizard, E something 

I Dalo"'m-GWO^^ v1sG€"'d9 DuTli;''y't'ant'= 



ha, quickly 

yellow, L 


thou hast come to put 
him on (his legs) 

it important it has put it under, 


a likeness of it will remain, 

long Kingfisher 

Dv' DtGe- 9* .1 

L he moved about, 

lying down 

(c) SGe" I no-'Gwo' *a't*9-r)a-'nfGa' y9'wi' 

Now then! Now thou hast come to human 

listen being 

tsune*'GO S0'"Gw5°' De'stuts.Go'tlAW'ist'a'nt'Ga' I stt'Da""W€!t'= 
thou white one you two have come to be united as one you two wizards, 

GO'Ga' Go'i;'sti sttiif'lti nt'Ge'S9"na' | Dalo''nt-Gwo"' ulscc-'Da 

E something you two faD never yellow, L it important 

15Dii*Ei;*'y't'ant'lf''.i' | u'sonf'lt'-yii' De'H'otlt'a'nfGa' | m'G9'waye*'= 

it has put it under, App quickly, E thou hast come to put him a likeness of 

on his (legs) 

l9no'°'o°'sGe-'sttGWO"' Du'-DtG€-'9''.i 

it will remain, L he moved about, lying 

down T L 

(d) SGe" I no*'Gwo° *a't'9r)a''ni'Ga' y9'wi' Ga^no'r'Da k*a'n9*= 

Now then Now thou hast come to human long Fish 

listen being 

tsy'Va Gf'Ga-Ge*"' so*°Gwo"' De'stuts.Go'tiAW*ist*a'm"Ga' 

Hawk blood, -ish 

as § c. with, at the end:) u'sgni;''!! DeH'tst'otlt'a'nfGa' *° 

you two have come to put 
him on his (legs) 



Dalo-'ni i>-'mtl9r)9*'.i *' | Dt'Da'n9*'wo-'t'r a^le' Dt''i;-Di' 


whenever they are ill 

to cure people with 


to give it to 
them to drink 

^o Emendation by editor; instead of De't'otlt'am'Ga^thou hast come, etc. 
" W. Dial, form': W. Dial. -tl->C. Dial. -ts-. 


na.SGWO"' na.'skt-GWo"' GO°"t'otr | aDe-'b a'ntDalo-'llt-Ge*° 

also this here, L to be used with it beads they yellow, -ish 

t'a'^li Da'^'M I a'Nbwa'ci Gano''Di na.'yo'.Go' | ni^'wo.^th-Nlq' 

two they (sol) cloth it (ku) let down moreover to cure with, and 

have been 
lying down, 

aye-'lti Sl]li;"'yilGa' a'st9"'l]0SD'H-GW0°' Gu"'lstan3!i-GW0°' Dt'i;''Dr 
made like swamp tree it has been scraped, L it has been steeped, L to give it to 

them to drink 

This is the Medicine for Their Navel 


Now then! Now thou hast come to Hsten, Yellow Goldfinch, in 
the great swampy thicket thou art staying, moving about. Thou art 
really a most powerful vnzard indeed. Thou never failest in any- 
thing. It is merely the "yellow" that has put the important thing 
under liim. Ha, very quickly thou hast come to push it aside. Only 
a likeness of it will be left, where it was moving about. 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Yellow Pigeon, in 
the great swamp thou art staying. Thou art a most powerful \\'izard 
indeed. Thou never failest in anything. It is merely the "yellow" 
that has put the important thing under him. Ha, quicldy thou hast 
come to put him on his feet. Only a likeness of it will be left, where 
it was moving about. 

Now then! Now thou hast come to listen, Long Human Being, 
(and thou) White Kingfisher, you two have become united as one. 
You two, most powerful wizards indeed, you two never fail in any- 
thing. It is merely the "yellow" that has put the important thing 
under him. Very quickly he has been put on his feet. Only a like- 
ness of it will be left where it was moving about. 

Now then! Now thou hast come to listen, Long Human Being, (and 
thou) Red Fish Hawk, you two have become united as one, (etc., with 
at the end:) Quickly you two have come to put him on his feet. 

This is (for) when they are sick with the "yellow"; it is to cure 
people with, and (also this is what) is to be used to give them to drink. 
Two yellow beads should be lying down; moreover, cloth should be 
lying on (the ground). And to cure (them) with, swamp-tree (bark) 
should be scraped and steeped, (to) give it to them to drink. 


In this formula for navel-nalo'ni the Yellow Goldfinch and the Yel- 
low Pigeon are again invoked (see No. 14, p. 189), together with the 
Long Human Being, the White Kingfisher, and the Red Fish Hawk. 
The Long Human Being is the formulistic name of the water in its 
special form as a river, considered as a giant, with his head among the 
mountains and his feet reaching down to the lowlands, while liis 
7548°— 32 14 


arms are stretched out to embrace and protect the settlements of 
the tribe. 

The medicine is an infusion of bark scrapings of sidu-'yilca' [{Hy- 
drangea cinerea Small). Another specimen collected has been identified 
as Clethra acuminata Michx., white alder]. The patient drinks it to 
induce vomiting, in order to throw off the disordered bile. The first 
two paragraphs are recited by the medicine man either while rubbing 
the patient's abdomen or just before giving him the medicine to drink. 
They then go down together to the river [or to some branch], and the 
patient vomits into the water. While standing by the waterside the 
medicine man recites the parts addressing the Long Human Being, 
the Kingfisher, and the Fish Hawk. It is at this part of the proceed- 
ings that the medicine man has lying upon the ground at his side a 
piece of new cloth, upon which are placed two yellow beads, their 
color corresponding with the color of the disease spirit, the goldfish, and 
the pigeon. The cloth [and the beads] are furnished by the patient, 
and are afterwards appropriated by the medicine man as his fee. 

There is no taboo. 

IVaf n^Vo-t'i' k*o°.li' tst-GQ-VamtlQ-'tst^.'i ^ 

this to cure with raccoon it is they make them ill, H 

Dt"tlaSt8Gt''sti tst'nuDale'!a°' niGa"'ti."-yu' Ua.skl' 
Gerardia they different kinds all E this hero 

This is to Treat (Them) With if the Raccoon Causes Them 



Tliis is aU the different kinds of Gerardias. 


The main symptom of this disease is a sudden fainting speU, in 
which the sufferer falls down gasping for breath in a peculiar manner. 
It probably results from a serious impairment of the digestive func- 
tions, or may be identified with apoplexy. 

The raccoon is held responsible for the sickness, from the fact that 
the gasping of the fainting person somewhat resembles the cry made 
by that animal when cornered by the hunter. The medicine man 
further states that a small tuft of raccoon's hair, or a single raccoon's 
hair, appears on the hand, cheek, or some other part of the patient's 
body (see No. 42, p. 229). 

The medicine consists of an infusion or a decoction of the roots 
of the several varieties of Dt"tlast8Gt"sti drunk by the patient while 
stiU fasting, for four consecutive mornings. 

«2 W. Dial. -tt->C. Dial. -ts-. 





The following varieties of this plant are known : 

1. Dt"tlastaGt''sti ustt"Ga, Gerardia pedicularia L. 

2. Dt"tlast8Gt"sti a'cwo"^, Gerardia virginica (L.) BSP. 

3. Dt"tlastoGt"sti u's9°Do''n9 nt'ce'sg^na, Gerardia Jlava L., also 
called Do"yi wo'yi', Dasy stoma jlava (L.) Wood. 

4. Dt"'tlast8Gt*'sti yGa'HsuloGfsti' (not identified). 

so\t-N!5°' Dt*'myo"tli tst-Di;"ntskwo"ldt'sG9/i 

other, and they are little it they from stomach, Hab 






a le 



they white 


they defecate, H' 

this here 

ct"a-Gwo"' n9-\vo't*i' 

this, L to cure with 


groundhog fore- 


ts-a'no*se'5"[i^] Dt'^uoi' 

that which they call it, H for them to 
drink it 

And Another One if the Little Ones Have Diarrhea 


The symptoms of this are that they defecate green and white 
matter (and) merely this is to treat (them) with (the plant), which 
is usually called ''groundhog's forehead," for them to drink. 


This is a prescription for a variety of diarrhea in children ["little 
ones"]. The medicine is a decoction of the herb called o-'cana"- 
GQ'^ta'Gi (o''Gan5°' = groundhog: i;G9°ta'Gt = an animal's forehead {Epi- 
gaea repens L.). Another Cherokee name for this same plant is 
tu'ksi wo-yi', '"'terrapin paw." The decoction is drunk by the child. 

Diarrhea in children is usually ascribed to the evil influence of 

This prescription in the manuscript follows another on the same 
page, which accounts for the form of the heading, "and another," 


oma-'-yi Di'*DaDzo°"st^oti' Wa 

water, L to lead people to it with this 


I *a'-no'Gwo"' a'stH 

ha, now thread 

une-'Ga akso*'"st'Ga' | 

white it has come down 


the soul 


it examined 

aDo^'nfGa' |f*yu'sti 

it has been said like 

tSi;D0-'iD8' 1 i;Da*N*to' 

his names are his soul 

a'kt'oti' 1 

it examined 

aD5''nfGa' yo-wi ustt*' f^yg-'Da a^ye-lt-'.'s-g' | k'l'lu-Gwo"' yt'ki 

it has been said human little yonder he is driving immediately, if it is 

being T L L 

I'Ga*' aye'^'li yi'ki DO*'Gwu-Df'na ulfanrnQ-'Da tsu'op- 

and day middle if it is now E (he has) jumped thou hast 



** Correction by editor. 



[Bull-. 9'j 

N!e*'li*Ga' I y'lt'aDi'np'Da y'Dyne-'thlt'^sti ' | a'kt'oti' aoo'^nfca' 

conio to do it jumped down it will be done ao it examined it has been 

for lier 

for her 


ya^' I Gal^'ldi a'st'i une-'oa De"tkso''5'"t'a'n6'Ga' | aOa'^Nlto' 

above tliread(s) white 


it examined 


it has been said 

aT)0 llfGa 

it has been said 



thoii hast come to 
let them down 

tyu'sti tsi;Do*'tDa' 

like his names are 

his soul 

Ga'lQ'lg*'' DtGa-'skclS"^' tsune''Ga 

above they chairs they white 

5 5°' V^aUQ-' a^N^uwa'ci une-'oa ult]:9-t'a'nt''Ga' ^* 



be let 

aDaN^to' lilitb't'a'nfGa^^ 

the soul it (sol.) has come to 

rest on it 

iso*'tf-yi' Da^le^'sa' ni'Ga' 

has arisen Loc it has been put 

up, standing on its legs 


it (kn.) has come 
to rest on it 





I ast'i' 

the soul 

the soul 


it examined 

they have 
come to 



where it 


t'a°li.n§-' Ga'lQ-l'}-' DtGa.'sktb"' tsune-'G5° Da-"kso"3°'t*a= 

Second above they chairs they white they have been let 

T L 


the soul 



a^N!i;wa'Gi i;ne''G9 u'htl^tVnfGa'^ | 

cloth white it (kn.) has come to rest on it 

u Itb't'a'nt'Ga' ^^ aBa-^lto' a'ktbti' 

it (sol) has come to rest on it the soul it examined 

Ga'lolg"' aDa'^N^to' Da'^le't'sa'nfGa' 

asfc'l' i;ne*'G9 

thread white 


it has been said 


the same 




{d) ny°'Gtn.§* 



(e) 't'sGfiiQ*' 







it has been put up, 
standing on its legs 

(etc., as in (6), changing t'a°ltii§* to 

{etc., as in (b), changing Va^linq- to 

(etc., as in (6), changing Va^laiq' to 

{etc., as in (6), changing t'a^in^* to 


(/) su'Dalfn^*' Ga'lglg'' 

sixth above 

20 {g) Goikwo-'Gtn^"' Ga'lQl^'-.r DtGa.'skd?-' tsune-'GO 
seventh above —Loc they chairs they white 

so-'*o'''t'an-9-' a^N^vwa^Gi une''G8 uhtlQt'a'nfGa' | 

have been let down, cloth white it (kn) has come to rest on it 


Diie-'GO a'Da-N!to' li'ttb't^a nfGa' 

white the soul it (sol) has come to rest on it 







there, it has come to appear above 

the soul 

Golkwo"'Gi f'ya-Galg-ldi 

seven successive above 


" W. Dial, form; C. Dial.: ulsQ-t'a'm'Ga' 
« W. Dial, form; C. Dial.: uhso't'a'm-Ga' 




This is to Take People to the Water With 


Sharply! Ha, now the white thread has come down. The soul has 
been examined; such-and-such are his names. The soul of the small 
■human being has been examined, where it is gromng. Either pres- 
ently, or at noon, or right away thou willst come and be born to 
jher.^^ He will be bom to her.*^ He has been examined. 
1 Sharply! from above thou hast caused the wliite threads to come 
jdown. The soul has become examined. Such-and-such are his names. 
!His soul has become examined, (a) In the first upper (world) 
ithe white seats have been let down, and the white cloth has com.e to 
;rest on them. The soul has come to rest upon the white thread. 
'The soul has been hfted up as far as the first upper world, the place 
to where it has been raised. 

(b) In the second upper (world) the white seats have been let 
down, (and) the white cloth has come to rest on them. The soul has 

icome to rest upon the white thread. The soul has become examined. 
tThe soul has been Hfted up as far as the second upper (world). 

(c) In the third upper (world) . . . 

(d) In the fourth upper (world) . . . 

(e) In the fifth upper (world) . . . 

(f) In the sixth upper (world) . . . 

(g) In the seventh upper (world) the white seats have been let 
down and the white cloth has come to rest upon them. The soul 
has come to rest upon the white thread. At the seventh upper 
(world), finally the soul will appear in all splendor. Sharply. 


This formula for "taking them to the water with" is practically 
the same as the one given in No. 83, page 289, with an additional 
preliminary paragraph, which is recited when the ceremony is per- 
fornied for the benefit of a pregnant woman. (See p. 119.) A part 
of this paragraph is addressed to the child, the "Httle hmnan being" 
itself. By leaving off this introductory paragraph the formula may 
be used for any of the purposes served by ordinary formulas of this 
kind. (See p.150.) 

The ceremony may be conducted by the petitioner himself, for 
obtaining long fife, etc., by changing the expressions to the first 
person where necessary. 

The white threads are mentioned in a number of formulas, especially 
those relating to love, but the connection here is not obvious. 

« The mother-to-be. 



[Bull. 99 


aV IlQ-'wo-t'i' 

this to cure 

tst-Du-^myiiwf'Ga fgoe-'oa G5't 

it they (E) feel tired eel oil 



he breaks them, H 

to cure with 


he climbs, brown i 


they (E) joints successively 

V SO -:i 

night, L 

ntGE" D8 


like each 


Gwo"' Dt'k^anuGo'.st'otr 

L they are to be scratched with 

iiQ-L'ye-tr I no°"ld tsi;'so'^D9 

must be four they nights - past 



are to be 
scratched j 

This is to Treat (Them) With (When) He Habitually Breaks' 
Them (i. e., Rheumatism) 


When they are tired, eel oil is to treat (them) with, (and) just saw 
brier to scratch them with. It must be rubbed on them all over their 
joints. Four days they must be scratched, every time at night. 


[Rheumatism is referred to by different names. (See p. 292.)] 
[Scratching is almost invariably a part of the curing procedure, the 
instrument usually being a flint arrowhead; in this case a small 
portion, about 12 to 15 centimeters long, of a branch of Ga'Dhwo-'Di, 
saw brier {Smilax glauca Walt.), is used.] 

The nighttime is chosen for the operation, in order that the patient 
may be the better able to rest afterwards. The same treatment is 
sometimes used for abdominal swelHng. When the medicine man 
can not decide from the ordinary symptoms as to the cause of the 
disease, he diagnoses from the dreams of the patient, which in rheu- 1 
matism are said to relate to sexual excesses, or to the commission of 
unnatural acts [as incest], etc. 


a a 


i-na'no" Da'nski-tsG9-'[i^7] ngwo-fi' Dt'uDffyi^^j 

snake(s) whenever they dream to cure with to give them to 


now then hal 

sttDa"'"weci' I 

you (2) wizards 


it which is, App 


y so :t 

night, Loc 

of them 


to say it — E 


you (2) have come to 


you (2) are staying 



you (2) men 


you (2) little 


for your (2) adornment— L 

I u-lsGe-'oo" 'i'-Di;ni;-Vt*ant'l€-°.i' ina'D9-GW0' 

it important it which, he (E) put it under, App 


<^ Correction by editor. 

*8 Interpolation by editor. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 197 

*t-Ge-'s€-°i' I a'nisGf'no° u'n9D9'no''!i' 't-Ge-'se-°i' | 

it which is, App they ghosts they have said it it which is, App 

sGe" I 'a'no-"G\v5°' sta't'or)a"'nfGa' sU'skuj^a' Dt'ststi'Ga' 

now then ha! now you (2) have come to you (2) men you (2) little 


stt'Da-"\V€" i;'so'-!i Dtsto'tlt'o'tsti' f'Ga aye'^li' u'lsGe-'DO" 

you (2) wizards night, Loc you (2) are staying day middle it important 

Du-ni'kso'5°"t6-°(.i ^^)' | stt''xy9st'a'nfGa' | stu'tsano'qt-Gwo^" 

they have let it down, App you (2) have come to take for your (2) adornment— L 

it (sol) away 

'tGc'sf^i' I u'so-'a Ga'ne'sa' DtGo'^naGe-"' DO"'Dtt'o''tSt-o' ' 

it which is, App night, L box(es) they black they are kept, facing 

us, T L 

\VO'°-'sttskwalltGO"'t*aIlt'Ga' I tGQVutstO.'tt-GWO^^ 
you (2) have come to put in store as what is its worth! L 

you (2) go by 

This (is) to Treat (Them) With When They Have Dreamed of 
Snakes; (What) to Give Them to Drink, and (How) it is to 
be Said 


Now then! Ha, now you two have come to Usten, you Two Little 
Men, you two wizards, away from here in the Night Land you two 
are staying. 

It is the very thing you two adorn yourselves with. It is merely a 
snake that has come to put the important thing under him. They 
are but ghosts that have caused it. 

Now then! Ha, now you two have come to Hsten, you Two Little 
Men, you two wizards, away from here in the Night Land you two 
are staying. 

In the middle of the day they have let the important things down. 
You two have come to take it away as you two come by. It is the 
very thing you two adorn yourselves with. You two have put it 
away over there in the black boxes that are kept in the Night Land. 
Who cares what happens to it! 


This is another formula for the same purpose as No. 5, page 175. 
[The reference to the Two Little Men adorning themselves with 
snakes, and the very reason for their being invoked in snake diseases — 
real or dreamed — is accounted for by a Cherokee myth. (Cf . Mooney, 
Myths, p. 311.)] According to this myth, the natural son of the 
Thunder, on arriving at boyhood, sets out toward the southwest in 
search of his father, who had abandoned him in infancy. After many 
adventures, he finally presents himself before his father, who first 
cures him of a loathsome skin disease, by throwing him into a pot of 
boiling water, and then leading him to a covered box, bids him put in 
his hand and take out the necklaces and other ornaments with which 



[BCLL. 99 

to adorn himself. On raising the lid, the boj^ finds the box full of 
snakes, but, undeterred, plunges his hand to the very bottom, and 
draws out a huge rattlesnake, which he winds about his neck for a 
necklace. He then takes out two copperheads, which he twists 
about his wrists as bracelets. Thus decked out, he takes his brother 
along, and goes against a celebrated gambler, who had pre\dously 
insulted him, but who is now conquered by the Two Thunder Boys, 
and impaled at the bottom of the great lake in the west. In this myth 
we have another instance of the universal primitive idea of a connec- 
tion between the serpent and Thunder [Lightning]. The scene is 
laid at The Suck, in Tennessee River, a few miles below Chattanooga. 

[As previously stated, dreaming of snakes results in the patient's 
saliva becoming "spoiled "] ; this must then be dislodged by an emetic. 
The medicine in this case consists of a decoction of Gana^'ca u*'t'9no°\ 
Scir'pus validus\di\\\., great bulrush; Gana^'aa ustf'oa, Juncus e;ffusus 
L., common or soft rush; ultso'ste i;*'t'8no°, Coronilla varia L.; 
ultso'sta ystf'ca, Vicia caroliniana Walt., vetch, to which is added 
the inner bark of d^Iq-'^dd, Rhus (Toxicodendron) radicans Linn., 
poison oak, poison ivy, which grows on the east side of a poplar tree. 

The decoction is boiled and drunk on four successive days, the 
medicine man or his assistant boiling it for but a short time the first 
day, adding more water and boiling it for a longer time the second 
day, and so on, until the fourth day, when it is boiled down to a 
thick sirup. While under treatment, the patient observes a taboo 
of salt and of hot food. 


'l a TiQ' WO't'l 

this to cure with 

u'^nQk'e'NvaG^'.i [ 

whenever they have 
forgotten (their voice) 


they to cure with 






they are bitter 

I Gule'^-tsi^nstf'oa 

acorns, they are small 

Df'ltGali'ski e-'GWO° 
willow big 

k*a'n9st"ta | 



( it has been 

undt"t'asti') ^^ 

they must 
drink it) 

This (is) to Cure (Them) with Whenever They Have Lost 

Their Voice 


These (barks) are to cure (them) with: Cherry, small acorns, 
flowering dogwood, bitter apples, big willow. They have to be boiled, 
(and) they must drink it. 

*'^ Interpolation by J. M.. apparently based on information given by a'yS'°'tni' 



A prescription against an aggravated form of hoarseness. The 
patient drinks a decoction of the inner bark of the five trees named, 
the decoction being intended to make him vomit the phlegm which 
clogs the throat passages and unpedes utterance. Some of the liquid 
is also rubbed on his throat and neck. There is no formula to be 
recited in this case, nor any ceremony to be performed. The bark, 
as usual, is from the east side of the tree. 

This prescription was written in two places in the manuscript. 

The barks used are those of t'a-ya', Prunus virginiana L., choke- 
cherry; Gule'' tsunsti.''Ga, Quercus jalcata Michx., Spanish oak (also 
Quercus imbricaria Michx.); k^ang-st'ta, Cornus fl.orida. L., flowering 
dogwood (also Cornus strida Lam., stiff cornel); sg-nkt'a i;nt'yo''.sti. 
Mains malus (L.) Mill., apple; Dflt'oah'ski e'Gwo^, Salix alba L., 
white willow. 


Jt"a-N!3'^' i;n9°'Di ts-a-'ndi-k'D'!a° uo^'wutli' | 

this, and milk it which they urinate for the purpose 

Ga'ne-t't'ski | tsi;'"ska' | tsu-'t'mg' | k'u'wiyu'sti 

water-birch post oak water beech sycamore 

a'yo'u-'tli I' u-ndt^'fa-sti' | Ga-kt'9'°D9 n5'°'ki' 

crippled this here they must drink it restricted four 

i'"Dde'Hd a'ma' i;n9-'°Di 

hftat salt milk. 

And This (is) for the Purpose (of Treating Them) When They 
Urinate (Like) Milk 


They must drink (in) this (case) water birch, post oak, water beech, 
crippled sycamore. Restricted (are during) four (days) hot (food), 
salt (and) milk. 


This prescription is intended for use in aggravated cases of the 
trouble spoken of in No. 6, page 178. 

The symptoms are milky urine and pains in the hips and the lower 
part of the back. The medicine man prepares a strong decoction 
of the inner barks of the four trees named and the patient drinks 
this in small quantities, at frequent intervals, for four days. The 
sufferer abstains in the meantime from hot and salt food, whereas 
he has to go without milk "for a considerable period," i. e., for about 
a year. 

The sacred four appears here in the number of ingredients and 
in the taboo. 



[Bull. 99 

As for the "crippled sycamore," see page 54. 

The barks used are those of Ga'ne't'i'sci, Betula nigra L., water-, 
river-, or red birch; tsu'ska', Quercus steUata Wang., post oak (also 
hybrids of Quercus alba L., white oak) ; tsv't^na', Carpinus caroliniana 
Walt., American hornbeam, ironwood, blue-, water beech; k'uVtyu'sti, 
Platanus occidentalis L., sycamore, buttonwood. 



their head 


they are to be blown 



to cure with 


to use with 



Dzo° tst'k'ano^'t'a''' 

direction it which says 



thou woman by excellence (?) 

\Ge' yaGi 
DQ^'DOGQ'yi ng'^DO'Gg'yi ng^^DOGg'yi 


Ji'a' ngVo-tT | 

this to cure with 


brittle with dryness 


they are to be blown with it, L 

tGe yaGi 

thou woman 
by excellence 

u^niGf'ng-Ga'a'tki no.tst-!'i 

chinquapin pine(s), Loc 

tSu'GWalo*G'3°'!i Gi;"'lstano'!i 

they have been leaves it has been steeped 


they have 
been, H 


isun, direct., Loc 

tGe^'yaoi' 'ya* 


they stand up, H 



This (is) to Blow Their Heads With; the Medicine (Which 
is) to be Used With it is Told Below 


Thou Woman (by excellence?) (4 times). 
In the direction of the Sun Land (4 times) . 
Thou Woman (by excellence?) (bis). Sharply! 

This (is) to treat (them) with: (of) chinquapin, which is wont to 
grow in the pine woods, the plucked brittle leaves, steeped warm, 
should be used, and they ^° should merely be blown with it. 


This song and prescription are for the treatment of a feverish 
condition, of which the s^miptoms are headache, chills, and cold 
sweats. No special cause theory was assigned, but the song would 
seem to indicate that the Sun is held responsible for the disease as 
in No. 41. 

The medicine is an infusion of the dry brittle leaves of chinquapin 
(Castanea pumila (L.) Mill.), heated by means of seven coals of fire 
and blown upon the head and shoulders of the patient, the blowing 
being done as described on page 58. 

«> The patients. 





*tGe'^yaGi' is a vocative form, the nominative, third person single 
being aoe'^yaoi', or perhaps aGe^aGv-'Gd. The medicine man was not 
certain as to the meaning of the word, but was of the opinion that it 
referred to aG£'*yaGu*'G8, a formulistic name of the Sun, which in 
Cherokee mythology is a woman. This is probably the true explana- 
tion as the spirit is declared to dwell in the Sun Land, the East. 
The name *tGe'*yaGi;*'Ga occurs in several foraiulas and is probably 
changed here to *iGe''yaGi' to conform to the meter. [See p. 161.] 

In another formula for heat blisters it is explicitly declared that 
(a)Ge*''yaGi;'*G8 has sent the disease. 

Og., who knows a different fomiula to cure this ailment, only uses 
the chinquapin infusion after a simpler treatment, in which merely 
water is blown on the patient, has failed. 




a mne" Dzi 

their breast 


to cure anyone with 

U SO u 

right, Log 

askii'ya 5' 



Dyny'yt^ anile* °i' 

he (E) has put it 

''na'Ge Di;'Da-N!t'e-"lo°'i GeSe* 

black he (E) has thought it it is, App 


now then 


ha! now 


you (2) have come to Hsten 


you (2) men 


you (2) are staying 

you two have pene- 
trated them 


it important 


you (2) red 


it important 

utst* nawa 

beyond it 

aDO UtGa 

it has been said 

ng °DO'-yt*- dzo" 

sun, Loe, direction 


you (2) have come to push it 
away as you (2) come by 

sGe" 'a'-no*Gwo'^' sta't'gqa^'nfGa' stt'skuya' sa''k'o"ni' 

now then ha! now you (2) have come to listen you (2) men blue 

Dt'stotlt'o'^sti' stt'Da-"W€" t''tStaDi'Ga^= 

you (2) are staying you (2) wizards you (2) have come 

u^'sonu-'li De''ttstt'sk8b-\5'"ta' nt'Du-'De-'lo'Ssioo"' 

quickly cause him to let go his he has not noticed it 

ha! now 


cold Loc, direction 

le'f'ca i;-lsGe-'DO° 

to push it it important 


beyond it stretched-L 

cause him to let go his 
gripping (hands), you (2) 

aD3 nfGa 

it has been said 


This (is) the Treatment for Their Breast 


The Black Man in the Night Land has caused it. He has put the 
important thing under him. 

Now then! Ha, now you two have come to listen, you two Red 
Men, you two are staying in the direction of the Sun Land. You 
two have penetrated them, it seems. You two have come to push the 
important thing away as you two go by. Relief has been caused. 



[Bull. 99 

Now then! Ha, now you two have come to Hsten, you two Blue 
Men, in the direction of the Cold Land you two are staying. You 
two wizards, you two have come to push the important thing away 
as you two go by. Quicldy cause him to relinquish his grasp, you 
two, without his (even) noticing it. Relief has been caused. 


This is a formula for curing sharp pains in the breast. 

The patient drinks an infusion of bruised u'naste'tstf'ca, Virginia 
snakeroot {Aristolochia serfentaria L.), to which a few scrapings of 
o'^DaltGa'^li, ginseng root {Panax trifolium L.), are sometimes added, 
the liquid being slightly warmed b}^ dropping four or seven live coals 
into it. There is no taboo. 

The medicine man first recites the formula, then blows four times 
upon the breast of the patient, and finally gives him the medicine to 
drink. This is repeated four times at each treatment. The whole 
ceremony is repeated four tunes before noon, and if necessary for four 
consecutive days. 


Wsi i-na'Do" k'ayu"Ga G5''"t'oti' Dt'Da-nuoo'sti'-yi' 


to use with 

to scratch them E 

k'u' yvla'U- laW : 

Come on! 

yu^a u ..aa : 

yu'a'!t' laW : 

Dv:+ Du: 





sGe' I Galp-'ldi Dt'tsune-'tlano°'!i k'o-'la tsune-'Go° De''ak= 

now tbeu! above thou hast apportioned bone (s) they while thou 



hast come to let them 

nawaDo"' I 'ya* 

it has been Sharply! 


tsu>e-l-9' ^' 
the body, TL 

GeSQ-' De''ust'a'nfGa' 

it is, TL thou last come to stick 

them (1.) in it 


" Correction by editor, instead of tsuGe'lg (no meaning) . 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 203 

This (is) for Using the Snake Tooth at the Scratching of 



Come on! 

Yuhahi, hahi (four times). 

Now then! Thou on high who hast apportioned them, thou hast 
caused the white bones to come down. Where the body is, thou 
hast come to stick them into. Reheved! Sharply. 


The scratching operation, for which this and similar formulas are 
intended to be used, is a frequent preliminary to the application 
of medicine in the treatment of rhemnatism, languor, and Idndred 
ailments, as well as in preparing contestants for the ball game. 
[See p. 68.] 

This fomiula was originally obtained by Ay. from an old man 
who must have been born at least as early as 1780. As the heading 
states, it is for scratching with the snake tooth. It consists of 
two parts, the first of which is sung, the second recited. 

The song, the words of which are meaningless, is sung by the 
medicine man to a simple and pleasing tune, while standing facing 
the patient and holding the snake tooth, grasped between the thumb 
and forefinger of his uplifted right hand. As he sings, the spirit 
of the rattlesnake enters into the tooth, which becomes alive and 
moves about between the fingers of the medicine man. This is 
the Indian explanation of the fact, which may be accounted for 
on more reasonable grounds. The medicine man, while singing, 
labors under suppressed excitement and stands with tense muscles 
in a constrained position, the natural result being that before the 
song is ended his hand involuntarily begins to tremble and the 
muscles of the fingers to twitch. The peculiar hook shape of the 
tooth renders its slightest movement perceptible. On finishing 
the song the doctor biings the tooth up to his mouth Math a long 
"du!" followed by a staccato "du, du, du, du," as he blows upon 
it. He then touches it to his mouth. The song is repeated four 
times, after which he proceeds to scratch the patient. [See p. 70.] 

The skin is scratched only once, viz, before the first application 
of the medicine, but the medicine is applied four times. If, how- 
ever, the treatment is continued for four days, the scratching may 
be repeated every morning. 

Tlie medicine which is rubbed on consists of a warm infusion 
of the leaves of e-w'so'!i, Leucothoe catesbaei (Walt.) Gray, gray fetter 
bush; Du'su'ca tsu'nstfGa, Kalmia latijolia L., mountain laurel, 
calico bush, spoon wood; Du'su'oa tsynt'ano", Rhododendron maxi- 


mum L., great laurel; a"^'skwane"'D8, Veratj^um viride Ait., American 
white hellebore, Indian poke; o'^'le'* yk't'lti, Porteranthus trifoliatus 
(L.), Britt., Indian physic. 

The leaves of the three first and the roots of the two latter plants 
are used. 

These plants are all of a pungent nature, especially the 
a''skwane"'D9, and few persons can endure four appUcations of 
the medicine. On account of its fieiy nature none of the liquid 
is drunk by the patient, as the experuiient would be a dangerous 
one. While applying the liquid the medicine man recites the final 
formula and ends by blowing four times upon the patient, as already 

Often a final song is added, veiy much like the one given in No. 42, 
page 229. 



Dalo*'ni v'nttlorio-'^^ a'Da'n^'wot' 



yellow whenever they to cure anyone with 
are ill 

Dalo-'ni Gi;'!a 

1 Dab-'ni 

Gvlsi 1 9'"Dali' 

Gu'!a 1 

yellow put it into it 
Qiq.), thou 


put it into it lake 
(liq.). thou 

put it into it 
(liq.), thou 

Dalo'ni Gvlsi \ 

'ya" 9*'Dali 

Dab-'ni Gu'!a Da'DtGale-'ya | 

sharplyl lake 

yellow put it into it < 
(hq.), thou 

;ome, thou, and 
scatter it 

Da'DtGale''ya | 

Da'DtGalf'ya | Da'DtGale*'ya 

1 Dab-'ni 


Gu'*a 1 Dalo"'ni Gu'^a | 

a'ma*'-yi gvIsl | 


put it into it 
(liq.), thou 

water, Loc 

Gu'Ja 1 'ya'' 


Dalo''ni Gi;'*a 1 


water, Loc. 

yellow put it into it 
(liq.), thou 

come, thou, and 
scatter it 

Da'DtGale-'ya ] 


1 Da'DtGale*'ya ( 

This is the Treatment Whenever They are III with the 



Put the Yellow into it (liq.) (bis). 

Put the Yellow into the lake. 

Put the Yellow into it (liq.). Sharply! 

Put the Yellow into the lake. 

Come, thou, and scatter it (four times). 

Put the Yellow into it (liq.) (bis). 

Put the Yellow into the water. 

Put the Yellow into it (liq.). Sharply! 

Put the Yellow into the water. 

Come thou and scatter it (four times). 

W. Dial. -tl->C. D. -ts- 

oIbuIcIts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 205 


This formula to cure navel Dalo'ni consists of a song of two verses, 
with a short recitation after each verse. The medicine man merely 
applies his hand, previously warmed near the fire, as described on 
page 62. 

If the treatment be successful, the effect is instantaneous and 
the medicine man "can feel the pulsation caused by the disease 
scattering under his touch." The medicine man recites the formula 
and sings the song t^vice at each application, and the ceremony 
is repeated four times before noon, and, if necessary, the treatment 
is continued for as many successive days. There is nothing to 
indicate what spirit is expected to effect the cure. 

*t'a' u'ye-lo.'tsti' i;mtlQ'r)9*'.i^^ 

this it startles him whenever they are ill 

GWea!a°' GWe!t!a°' GWelua""' GWelua"' 
GWeUla"" GWe!i!a°' GWe^t'.a"' GW€!t!a°' 'ya" 

This (is) for When They Become III Suddenly 


Gwehiha (4 times). 
Gwehiha (4 times). Yah! 


This short song is to cure a fainting cramp, when the sudden 
intense pain makes the patient fall down as if dead. In some cases, 
the medicine man states, death actually follows instantaneously. It 
might result from indigestion, heart trouble, or some other cause. 

The song consists of a single word: GW€a!a° [which is but an adap- 
tation of (a)Gwe't(stt)'a, "I have pain," to the meter of the melody.] 

The treatment is equally simple: The medicine man applies his 
hands, previously warmed over the fire, to the seat of pain, after 
which he blows upon the spot. He repeats the song four times, and 
the whole ceremony is performed four times before noon. 

Di'kVnvGo.'sti !i'a' | ni;-'Gutlo°' Go°"t*oti' Gfsg-'.i 

to cause it to come out this brier to be used with it has been, Hab 

sGe" I 'a-'no-Gwo^' *a't*or)a-'nt'Ga' k'o-'lono"' Gf'oaGf' 

Now then ha, now thou hast come to listen Raven red 

Q9'Do*-GO"-'yt'-'Dzo Dttso'tlt'o^'tsti' I i;'sonu*'li DO'^'a^le'^orja' | 

sun, dir., Loc, direction thou art staying quickly thou hast arisen facing us 

«3W. Dial. -tl->C. Dial. -ts-. 


Go^y'sti tsuDe"lttce"ti m'Ge's^'na' | asGt''no y'D'i'noytGWo"' 'tGe"'= 

something it escapes thy (sight) never ghost it has been said, L. it which 

se'°.i' u'lsGe-'oa 't'Duny'y'it^aiu'le'".!' | o^-'ta'li v'Do*no*'i-Gw5"' 

is, App it important it which he has put under, App aoimal-ghost it has been said, L 

^Gf'sf.i' l'1sG€''d9 'i.'Duni;-'y'lt'ant'le'°.i' I tsu'tlsta"'y'lti.-GWU-'Dt*n9' 
it which is, App it important it which he has put under, App it is what thou catcst, L (=E), E 

^G€-'se".i' I 'o°''^yo°"st'anfGa' | nso^-'yt'-Dza' e^'la'-w'i-'nt-Dfno'*' 

it which is, App again thou hast come to night, Loc, direct earth, under, E 

talJe it away 

onono'-'i wt-De*'tsat'ano-"Qsr | i;so'!i ljq'd'q aDO*-i De'\o'°Iu'na-.9*\i 

trail, Loc thither they lie stretched night yonder wood, Loc they mosses, T L. 

L'jo''T)d wo^^sttGo'tianfGa' I tG9*'wul:st5/tt-G\v5^' | utst^'-na- 

yonder thou hast gone there and who cares what happens to it, L. beyond it, 

put it between (two) 

wii-Gwo^' aDo^'nfGa' 

stretched, L it has been said 

SGe" I 'a'no'Gwo'^' 'o'°-'a't'9r)a"'m-Ga' k*o-'lano°' sa^'k^o'iii' 

Now they ho, Now again, thou hast Raven blue 

come to listen 

i;''9DZ0"-yt"'-DZ9' Gal9"'ldf'-DZ9' Dttso'tlt'o't'str | *tDa"'"wea'-Di*n9' 

cold, Loc, direction above direction thou art staying thou vrizard, E 

lOoaD-j" tsunu-'lti iif'Ge'syna' | u'lsGe-'oa ^'Dunu''y't'art'le'°.i' 

what thou failst never it important it which he has put under, App 

tso'tlsta-'y'itt-GWo'^" *tGe-'s€-°.i' I iiiG9*\vaye"'lan5°"5°sG€-'sttGw5^^ 

what thou eatest (L) E it which is, App a likeness of it will remain, L 

tsa'-'^losQ'' I i;so"iD9 m;'D9*n9''na | ntsi'-'nawu-Gwo''' aDo^'nt'Ga' 

thou passed T L night-been it has not been said beyond it, stretched, L it has been said 

Dt'k^anuGO.'sti u'a \ nu'^Gutla' G5""t'otr Ge-'sQ-.i' I nQ-'- 

to cause it to appear this brier to be used with it it has been, Hab to 

wo't'i-N'^" k*o*'sDu"'D9 Dalo''nt-G€''^' a'DZflo^'-ski' u'ltso'^'sti 

cure with, and (Everlasting) yellow, -ish they have been flowers (vetch, 

l^vStf'GQ, Dt'k'anO'lf'ye'Dr | uD0'*'t9GWUD9' aDS'^no'/i fGa-GWO^' 

little it must be rubbed on them all day it has been said noon, H 

t'G0^"'D9 I aG0''n9-GW0'^' Ga"'"kt^9*'D9 ayc'la'a'"' 

as long as fasting, H it restricted only 

This is to Scratch Them; A Brier Should Be Used With It 


Now then! Ha, now tbou hast come to Usten, Red Raven; away 
from here in the direction of the Sun Land thou art staying; quickly 
thou hast arisen, facing us. Nothing ever escapes thy (sight). 

It is merely what has become a ghost that has put the important 
thing under him. It is merely what has become an animal ghost 
that has put the important thing under him. But this is the very 
thing thou eatest. Thou hast once more come to take it away as 
thou goest along. The trails lie stretched for thee under the very 
earth, away toward the Night Land. Thou hast gone and put it 
between (a crevice) in the forests of the Night Land, where moss 
grows. Who cares what happens to it! Relief has been caused. 

Now then! Ha, now thou too hast come to listen, Blue Raven. 
Thou art staying on high, in the direction of the Cold Land. Thou 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 207 

powerful wizard, what (is there) thou ever failest in? The important 
thing, which he ^* has put under him, is the very thing thou eatest. 
Only a likeness of it will be left, when thou will have passed. (And) 
not for a night (only, but forever). Relief indeed has been caused. 
This is to scratch them. A brier should be used with it. And to 
cure (them) "with, common everlasting (with the) yellow flowers, (and) 
little vetch are to be rubbed on them, "All day" has been said, but 
as long as noon (is) merely (meant). Fasting is the only restriction. 


This formula is used for scratching with a brier, preparatory to 
rubbing on the medicine, in cases of local pains and muscular cramps 
and twitching. The patient is said also to dream of game and 

Ailments of this class are ascribed to the influence of revengeful 
deer ghosts, possibly because the deer, Uke the horse and the cow, 
has a habit of nervously twitching the muscles while standing. The 
hunter always took care to ward off the evil results, by asking pardon 
of the slain deer according to a set formula, after having Idlled it. 
[These formulas are now no longer known. There are even many 
medicine men who have never heard about them. It is easy to 
understand that this kind of fonnula would soon fall into desuetude 
and oblivion \^'ith the extinction of the deer. (Cf. further Mooney, 
Myths, pp. 263-264.)] 

The raven is invoked because it is accustomed to feed upon the 
offal left by the hunter after cutting up the game. [For the same 
reason the raven is mentioned in some of the hunting formulas, 
''because," as an informant told me, "he is as anxious to point out 
the deer to us as we are to shoot it, because he knows that he will 
get the guts (of the shot animal)."] 

The formula is recited by the medicine men after each round of 
scratching while standing over the patient, and holding the cup 
containing the medicine in his uplifted hand. Having finished the 
formula, he brings the cup slowly down with a spiral circuit, after 
the manner a raven descends, imitating at the same time the raven's 
cry, k'a* k'a* k'a* k*a", until he puts the cup to the lips of the patient, 
who then takes a drink of the medicine. 

The scratching is done with a stout piece of brier, ny'GutB"', 
Smilax glauca Walt., saw brier, having thorns about the size of 
large rose thorns. The medicine which is rubbed into the scratches 
consists of a warm infusion of k'o*'sDu''D9, Gnaphalium obtusifolium L., 
common everlasting; ultso*'"sti u'stt^'aa, Vicia carolinianaW edt., vetch. 

^* The disease spirit. 
7548°— 32 15 



[Bull. 99 

The scratching is performed and the medicine applied four times 
before noon. The treatment lasts but a single morning and the only 
diet rule observed is that the patient fasts until the whole performance 
is over. 

[The last sentence but one illustrates in an interesting manner 
how in this case an error in writing the directions down was corrected : 
The medicine man had written that "fasting was to be observed ail 
day," but corrects this statement later on by saying that he only 
means "until noon," i. e., until after the completion of the final 




a nme" dzi 

their breast 


GO*'t'tski' aDa'n^'wo'tT 

it swells (Hab) to cure anyone with 

\a!f.' (7 times) 


SGe" 1 


DtDy-'tt'o^tsti' u1sG6''d9 1 u'sonu'-li D3-'= 

Now then 

lake, big, Loc 

he is staying it important 

quickly he 


i' 1 y^sonu* 

'li Di;ni;-V*t'ant'le*°.i' 

has arisen, facing 
us, App 

quickly he has put it under, 



stA't'oqa-'nfGa' ng-Do-'-yi 


Now then 

ha, now 

you two have come sim, Loc 
to listen 

you two are staying 



SttDa''"wea'-GO"Ga' 1 Q'^Dal- 

-e*'Gw5" D0"^= 

you two men 

you two little 

you 2 wizards, E lake big he 


i;*lsGe*'D8 1 

i;'soni;*'li De-'t'^tsto'ttt'anfGa' 

ylsGe-'na 1 

has arisen, facing 
us, App 

it important 

quickly you two have come to 
put him on his (legs) 

it important 


he started from, direction 

*9"sti' ntGe"'sona' | 

10 De*'Dt)D9'N!e'h(Dt^^'^)se"sti' 

it will be done so for him 
continuously along 




it to look back 


trail(s), Loc thither, they lie stretched 

I no°'Gi' t-ya-y^-lnaGi' ayo''w€-s3-tlQ"'Ds'" 

four successive glimpsy (sights) he rested 



you two will push him along 
as you go 


he started L T 

9- = 




"^ wt'-t'tsto'tlt'aDtnQ-t^am-Ga' na'na" wt-Di;-'lt'o't'st'nnt'Ga' 

thither, you two have come to make 
him jump 




he to look back 


!t"a a'ntnf'ozi 

this their breast 

ni-Ge" S9*na 


'a -na na 

ha, there 

there, he has come to stay 


there, he will continue to stay 

it swells, Hab. 


to cure anyone with 





Dt Dl 

they (sol.) to 
be put down 

it is 

55 W. Dial, form; C. Dial. Q-tsV. 
55a Interpolation by W; see p. 4. 

Olbeechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 209 

This is the Medicine (for) When Their Breast Swells 


Yuha-ahi (7 times). 
Sharply ! 

Now then! the important thing is staying in the great lake. 
Quicldy it has arisen, facing us. Quickly he ^^ has put it under (the 

Now then! Ha, now you two have come to listen, you two little 
men, you two powerful wizards ; in the sun land you two are staying. 
From the great lake the important thing has arisen facing this way. 
Quicldy you two have forced the important thing to get on its feet. 
His paths lie stretched toward the direction from where he started 
and he shall never look back again. As he stops to rest at the four 
successive gaps, it will happen to him that, roughly indeed, you two 
will push him along as you go by. You two have caused him to 
plunge back again into the very same lake from which he arose. 
There he is now lodged to stay. He will never look back. Right 
there he is compelled to stay. Sharply! 

This is the medicine (for when) their breast swells. Fire is not 
to be put down, however. 


[This formula has been edited with notes and comments by Mr. 
Mooney in his SFC, pp. 364-365.1 

The onl}^ facts of interest which I found in Mooney 's notes which 
v/ere not incorporated in the paper just mentioned are that Da'kwa= 
Dul, to cure the same ailment, used a warm infusion of the following 
herbs : 

DtGa''y'so*r)i', Collinsonia canadensis L., rich weed, stone root, 
horse balm; fna'Do° GaN^oa', Camptosorus rhizophyllus (L.) Links, 
walking leaf; skwo*'l i;*'t'^ono', Asarum canadense L., asarabacca, 
wild ginger; skwo'lystr'aa, Hepatica acutiloba DC, Uverleaf. 

This infusion he applied four times before noon for four successive 
mornuigs, giving the patient some of the liquid to drink each time to 
cause vomiting. The whole plant was used, excepting in the case of 
the DtGa-'y's9-r)i', of which either the root or leaf might be taken. 

^^ The disease-spirit. 



't'a' Du-'iu'tstalo-'.i Dt'k'ariQ-'wo'tT | 

this whenever they have to cure them with 


(a) sGe" I no'Gwo^' Vt'9r)a*'nt'Ga' kVnanu'sti ts'AsU*'Ga 

Now then now thou hast come to listen Frost thou Little 

Gal^-'ldi tso'tlt'o^'tsti' | 'iDcf'"we'i'-Go*Ga' Go'u'sti tsuni^-'lti 

above thou art staying thou wizard, E something thou failest 

niGe-'sQ-na' | i^'soni^-'li iiQ'no' 'tkso-"o"*t*a'm*Ga' | 'a'-u'Dtle^'GiGwo^' 

never quickly trail thou hast caused it ha, Heat 

to come down 

5 Gese.i' i;1sG€"'d9 't'DunfV'it'am'le.i' I 'a'\-t;sanu''li i;k*o"ata^ 

it is, App. it important it which he has put under, App. ha, quickly fog 

ts*Astf'Ga t'l'suldo'HVnfGa' utst^-nawu-Gwo"^' nv^DdVaiiQ''Dd 

thou little thou hast come to make him beyond it, stretched L (=E) it has been said 

get up simultaneously 


thou hast come to do it for him 

(b) (Exactly as (a) hit change k'a'nanu'sti ts'Astt'Ga and 

Frost thou Little 

uk*o"ata^ ts'Astf'ca to k'ananu'sti ^e'^G\vii\--yv and uk'o"ata^ 

Fog thou Little Frost thou Big, E Fog 

10 'e*'G\vu'f-yu', respectively.) 

thou Big, E. 

It'a Di;"'nt"tstalo*'.r Dt'k'ano*'wo't'r [ !t'a' no"'wo*t'i' didzo''= 

This whenever they have to cure them with this to cure with it must be 


t*a.e''ti-GWO''' I (i;'nfGf'Da Ga'a'tk'^O no.tst-''i tSi;'''ye'GO"'.i 
blown on them, L (chinquapin) pine(s), Loe where it (Hab) j 


tsi;'staGa"yo*'Da tsi;'Gwalo-Go'!i tsuGwa'NHoti' tsi'ki | no^'ci' 

they are dry they have been leaves they are stuck in with it it which is four 

Ga"'kt'9"'Do I y'Dtle^'Gi | a'ma' | wa'ctGu-N!*?' | rya' | 

restricted hot salt pumpkin(s), and melon (s) 

15 t'yya' I nu*'n5° tsa'nmo'f'Dg | nf'na tsa'iiiSa'Gwal^"'.!' | 

bean(s) potato(es) they are long potato(es) they are round 

tsuwe*'*tst-N!?'' I ntGa-'D9 Ga*'GUma' | Goyf'sti I a'lU- 

eggs, and all cucumber watermelon (s) on- 

sp'rji I mGa*'D8 Dy'ndfw"sko"'-r)\vo'^^ t'Go^''D8 

ions all they recover, L (E) as long as 

This is to Treat Them With When They Have Blisters 


Now then! Now tlioii hast come to listen, thou Little Frost, thou 
art staying on high. Thou powerful wizard, thou never failest in 
anything. Quicldy thou hast caused the trails to come down. It 
is only Heat that put the important thing under him. Ha, quickly 
thou hast come. Little Fog, to lift him up. Relief has been caused 
forthwith, thou hast come to do it for him.^^ 

57 Interpolation by J. M. ^^ For the patient. 



(b) Same as (a), but change ''Little Frost" and "Little Fog" to 
"Very Great Frost" and "Very Great Fog," respectively. 

This is to treat them mth when they have bhsters. This is the 
medicme which is to be merely blown on them: Chinquapin growing 
in the pine forests, the leaves of which are dry and crumbhng while 
they are still on the plants. (During) four (days) are restricted: 
Hot (food), salt, cymlings also, pumpkins, beans, long potatoes, 
round potatoes, eggs also, all (kinds of) cucumbers, watermelons, 
muskmelons, all (these are forbidden) until they get well. 


This formula is for the treatment of the burning and festering 
"fever bhsters," which according to the medicine men are worst in 
the hottest part of summer and upon children. The disease theory 
is beautifully set forth in the formula as well as in the dii'ections. 

The disease is caused by the spirit of Heat, and is expelled by the 
spirits of Frost and Fog, both coohng in then- nature, k^a'nanu'sti, 
the name here given to the frost, is used only in the formulas, [and 
seems to be connected with the V-nanuGO "that which opens up"], 
the common word for frost being i;'yo"'tla. 

As for the treatment, through carelessness the medicine man has 
omitted the leading word of the name of the simple used, but there is 
not the slightest doubt but that it is the same as the medicinal plant 
prescribed in No. 23, page 200; the ceremony is also probably the 
same as described under the prescription just quoted. 

The taboo, besides the regularly proscribed items of salt and hot 
food for four days, includes until final recovery : Beans and potatoes, 
because their skins shrivel up as from an inward heat; eggs, melons, 
etc., because these are watery in their nature. 

The medicine men recognize a relationship iu tomatoes, pumpkins, 
squashes, cymlings, gourds, cucumbers, and melons on account of the 
watery fluid they contain. 

Several of the [vegetables] named have been adopted by the 
Indians from the whites, and are included [in the taboo] because of 
their resemblance to others previously laiown. 

The avoidance of any such vegetables in all cases of bhsters is a 
matter of common knowledge among the people; an infraction of any 
part of the taboo would interfere with recovery and would lead to a 
recurrence of the ailment. 



DfDa'nuGo'str i;G9-'wutli' | t'na'Do" k*ayi;''Ga Go°"ti 

to scratch tliem (indef.) for the purpose snake tooth to use 

k'u yvla'li- jvlafli- yvlsi'lf yvWU- 

Come on! 

yvlofu yvlsiu' yvlafW yvlofh' 
T>v: Bv: Dv: bv: bv. 


5 sGe" Galg-'ldi Dt'tsune-'tlano''''i | k*o-'la tsime*'Go° De'*ats= 

Now then above thou hast apportioned them bone (s) thou white thou hast 

o'5°'t'a'nfGa' I tsuye''lQ-yi ^^ Ges9*' De''ust'a'nfGa' i;tst"= 

come to let them the body Loc. it is, T. L. thou hast come to stick beyond it 

down them (I.) in it 

nawa' tsi;*'Do*no°'*i | 

stretched they have been said 

a'msku'ya anCcaGe^ am'lo*i' | uIisgc'do" a^insula'Tido*t'a'= 

they men they red they have passed it important they have come to lift 

nfGa' I a^ntskii'ya ant'GaGe*'" ant^loH' | i;"lisGe''Do° 

it up as they men they red they have passed it important 

they go by 

10 aiit'sula'ndD't'a'ni'Ga' | *ya* 

they have come to lift it up as sharply 

they go by 

(This is) for the Purpose of Scratching People, Using the 
Snake Tooth with it 


Come on! Yuhahi (4 times). 
Yuhahi (4 times), 
du: du: du: du: du. 

Now then! On high, thou hast apportioned them. Thou hast 
come to let the white bones down. Where the body is. thou hast 
come to stick them ^° into. ReUefs have been caused. 

The Red Men have passed. 

They have come to hft the important thing up as they go by. 

The Red Men have passed. 

They have come to hft the important thing up as they go by. Sharply! 


This formula is for the same purpose as No. 25, with the same 
ceremony and appUcation. It has as a tliird part the song referred 
to on page 231. 

The "Red Men" mentioned may be the Thunderers. 

[The peculiar form: amsulando't'ani'Ga is only used in songs, 
and has a syllable infixed without any apparent semantic value 

^° Emendation by editor, instead of se'lg'yi (no meaning). 
^0 The white bones, the rattlesnake's teeth. 





(-an-); this is probably done to adapt the word to the meter of the 

song. The word, in common speech, is pronounced : antsuldo't^anfoa. 

Another instance of this same process is: e'lanti instead of e"ldi.] 


i;'ntDZi*'ya DrDa'n9''wo"tT 

they (are) worms to cure them (indef .) with 



SGe ' 

now then 


ha! now 

'a't'Qr)a-'m-Ga' ^t^Gayg-'^h tsune''Go° 

thou hast come to listen thou old female thou white 

e-l-DWe''istos9-'qwo" ''tGe'se'^.i' | yo"si;wa' skane-'la 

clay it has pain L. that which is, App. • weakness(?) it is pregnant(?) 

I 'a'-no- °Gwo^' 

ha! now 

thou wizard— E. 

(a) SGe' 
now then 


thou white 

i;HlaWO-tu th ^^ 

where the mud is 

solid in it 


made thee look at it as 
thou wentst by 

u'lsGe''D5° 'I'Dunf'y't'ant'le- °.i' 

it important that which he put under 

it, App. 

G6Se*'° I ts'Askwo-'li 

it is, App. thy stomach 


they have done 
it so for thee, App. 


thou hast done it 
for him 

I *a'no'Gwo"' 

ha! now 


thou hast come to listen 

Galo'ldi tso'tlto't'sti 

above thou art staying 

GeS9"'i e''Dzakso-"5°'t'a'nfGa' | 

it is, T. L. they have let thee down as 

they went by 

GuWl. SGuWl 

I *a*'i;sonv'li 

ha! quickly 

y^sony'H De''= 

quickly they 

L Ge'Se*" .1 

that which 

is, App. 



t ang" do' 

at the same 

'aGQSiiny'yH'anfca' | i;tsf'ya=Gwo^'' 

thou hast come stuck thy bill worm, L. 

under it as thou wentst by 

t'a-'ses5^fGa' I tsu'tlsta*'y'ti= 

thou hast come to it for thy food, 

pull it out 

De-'GaDam'so.'t'antGa' ^^ u'k9W€''D8= 

it shall bury itself in it as it goes by craving(?) 

utsi^'nawa' ni;''d9= lo 

beyond it stretched it has 

been said 


a likeness of it will remain L. 


it has happened so 

(6) SGe" 

tsune"'G5° 7 

thou white 

(C) SGe" 


thou hast come 
to listen 





ha! now 

(. . . etc., and add:) 

Dt'Da'n9"'wo"tT *t'a' 

to cure them (iadef.) this 





thou hast come 
to listen 


beyond it stretched, L. 

I n9-'wo-t't-NJ5°' 

to cure with, and 


Mud Snipe (?) 


it has been said 

blood, like 

tsiine-'Go". . . 

thou white 

I y'ntDZf'ya 15 

they (are) 

it is a flower 

Dt i;Dl 

to give 

them to 




a su'yi 

it mixed 
with it 

Ge'SO. 1 

it has 
been, H. 

tG9- yi 


Dt uDl 

to give 
them to 


to cure him 
with it 


they must be rubbed, L. 

81 W. Dial, form; C. Dial.: u^sawo'tu'tli. 

*2 This word is queried by J. M. in his transliteration of Ay.'s original. 


This (is) to Treat Them with (for) Worms 


No\r then! Ha, now thou hast come to Hsten, thou Old White 
One. The body has been made very painful; it is pregnant with 

(a) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Wliite 
Bittern, thou real \\'izard, staying on high. Ha, quickly they have come 
to let thee down to where the marsh is. Quickly they have made thee 
look at it, as thou wen tst by. Thou hast come to stick thy bill under it. 
The important thing which he has put imder him is merely a worm. 
Thou hast come to pull it out; it is indeed the very thing thou eatest. 
It shall bury itself into thy stomach; they have made thee insatiable 
(?). It has happened so; relief has been caused at the same time; 
thou hast come and done it for him; ^^ only a mere likeness of it ^^ 
will remain. 

(6) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou White 
Sandpiper, etc. 

(c) Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou White 
Mud Snipe, etc. 

(And add at end:) Relief has been caused. 

This (is) to treat them ^\ith (for) wonns. To treat A\Tth, Indian 
pink, mixed mth honey, should be given them to drink. First it 
should be given them to drink, then it should merely be rubbed on 


This fonnula, which seems to have lost [its fourth paragraph], is 
for the treatment of intestinal worms. These betray their presence 
by the following symptoms: yellowness of the patient's skin, redness 
of the fingertips, fever and diarrhea. 

The medicine is a decoction of Gf'GaGe*" a'DZt'lo°'sld\ Spigelia 
marilandica L., Indian pink, sweetened with honey, to be drunk both 
night and morning for four days, or until the worms are dislodged. 
If this result shoidd not follow \nthin that period, the medicine man 
tries a different medicine or concludes that the sickness is due to 
some other cause. 

In applying the treatment, the medicine man first gives the medi- 
cine to the patient to drink, then warms his hands over the fire, while 
addressing "the Old White One," and then rubs the abdomen of the 
patient with his hands thus warmed, reciting in the meanwhile the 
second part of the formula, addressed to the bird. The final rub 
with both hands is in a downward direction, along the abdomen, 
typical of the downward passage of the expelled worms. In conclu- 
sion, he blows four times upon the stomach of the sick man. The 

83 The patient. " The disease. 




blowing is also from the breast downward along the abdomen. 
The whole operation should be repeated fom- times at each treat- 
ment, but as the formula as here given consists of but three parts, it 
seems probable [that a fourth paragraph has been lost in the course 
of time]. 

While under treatment the patient only drinks soup or the decoc- 
tion, but no water, which for some reason unexplained is beheved to 
bring the worms to life again, when they are said to be more trouble- 
some than at first. Eggs are tabooed for the same reason, and ail 
greasy food is prohibited. 

The formula opens with a short address to the Fire, ''The Old 
White One," in which the medicine man declares that the patient's 
body, spoken of under the figurative term of "clay," is filled with 
pain, and pregnant with yo"suwa' a word which the medicine men 
can not now explain [but which is very probably connected with 
do^'su, "weak"]. 

The word for worms u^nmzf'ya (sgl. uDZf'ya) is also applied to the 
common earthworm, which renders pecuHarly appropriate the use of 
the figurative term "clay" to designate the body.^^ 

After having addressed the Fire, while warming his hands the 
medicine man goes on to invoke various long-billed swamp birds, 
which feed upon worms, telling each in turn to put his bill into the 
muddy ooze and pull out the intruder, which "is just what you eat." 
In this case the mythic color of the birds is white, which is not to be 
understood as their actual color. 

[Og. told Mr. Mooney that he used a similar formula but a slightly 
different prescription to cure this ailment; in addition to Indian pink 
he used um'skwuDo"' tsi;nstt''Ga (small buckeye). This does not grow 
on the Cherokee Reservation, but somewhere in Tennessee, and only 
one old medicine man, i;'sa'wi(?), who lived about 15 years ago, knew 
where to find it, and was sent for it whenever it was needed. No 
informant was able to identify the plant during my stay in 1926-27.] 

ct'a' Gananv'GO'tstD^"'!! i;ne'*tsta''n€!i yt'ki a'na'np'wo'tT | 

this it appears about, H they have pain, if it is to cure anyone with 


SGe" I V-no-"GWO^' 'a't'^qa'nfGa' tsfya' wo-'ttGe'"' 

Now, then! hal now thou hast come to listen Otter brown 

u'^QDZo-'-yf-Dzo"' Ditso'tlt'o*tsti I so'Gwo'"^ De-'nutsGo'tlant'Ga' | 

cold. Loo, direction thou art staying one thou and I have become one 

^^ E'luWe'tstosoM may be a contraction of: e"la (=clay) iiwe'tstosoM (it has been 
made painful), as Mr. Mooney interprets it. During my stay no medicine man 
was able to give any information on this expression, nor did anyone remember 
whether the body was ever referred to by this metaphor. None of the myths 
throw any light on the question. I am inclined to believe that the e'l- prefix is 
not an abbreviation of e"la, clay, but a contamination of aye'lo", body. 


i^^sony'li D0"'t'a^l€''9i]a' | ^Da'"'*we!i' Go'usti tsuiiu"'Hi m'= 

quickly thou hast arisen, thou wizard something thou failest never 

facing us 

Ge"S9*Da' I i;-lsGe"'D.o° u'Danf'y't'ant'le'^.i' | asof'no i''do'= 

it important he has put it under, ghost it has 


no'°a-GWO^' Ge-Se-°.i' a^le i;-'y-tGaWe-'sld Di;'Da-N!t'e-"lo!i yt'ki | 
been said, L it is, App and different he speaks, H he has thought if it is 

sGe" I no*"Gwo°' t't'nase'so^'Ga' | i;so'-!i nQno-^'i wt'-De-= 

now now thou and I come night, traU, Loc yonder 

then! to pull it out Loc 

5Dy'tan9"o°'si' j usi)!'! ljq-^'bq 9'Dali e'Gwo'-i wo'°'-t't't'3't'st'a= 

they lay themselves night, yonder lake big, Loc yonder thou hast 

for him Loc 

m.Ga' I tGQ'wulsto.'ti-Gwu'-Dt-na' | i;tst"na\vu-Gv>'o^' 

come to what its worth, L (=E) E beyond it stretched 

put it 


it will be said con- 

This (is) the Medicine, if They Have (Pains) Appearing About 
IN Different Places 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to Hsten, Brown Otter; in the 
direction of the Cold Land thou art staying. Thou and I have 
become united as one, quickly thou hast arisen. Thou wizard, thou 
never failest in anything. It is merely what has become a ghost that 
has put the important thing under him,^^ or maybe a speaker of evil 
(words) has caused it. 

Now then! Now thou hast come to pull it out. The paths lay 
themselves out toward the Night Land. Thou and I have come to 
put it at rest in the Great Lake, away in the Night Land. Who 
cares what happens to it! Relief will be caused continuously! 


This is another formula for the cure of aye''ltGo*'Gi or simulator- 
diseases, and the general ceremony is the same as already described. 
(See p. 73.) 

The medicine used is a warm infusion of the roots of tso''liyy'sti 
i;'ntkw't'e''no'*, Verhascum thapsus L., common muUein; Gf'GaGf^ 
a'DZflo'^'ski, Lobelia cardinalis L., cardinal flower; and of the bark of 
ttseJi, Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng., smooth alder.^^ 

The cup containing the infusion is placed on the floor upon a piece 
of cloth, about 6ne or two yards in length, together with four beads — 
red, blue, black, and white. The cloth [and the beads] are kept by 
the medicine man as his pay after the ceremony. 

60 The patient. 

"' Another specimen v/as identified as Alnus serrulata Willd. 


Having recited the prayer, the medicine man takes a sup of the 
Hquid, and applying his hps to the sore spot, sucks the place and then 
discharges the liquid from his mouth into another empty bowl kept 
ready for the purpose. This is repeated four times, after which the 
medicine man examines the liquid in the bowl to find the intrusive 
object which has caused the trouble. When found it is carefully 
hidden away as already described. (No. 3, p. 173.) 

If necessary, the whole ceremony is repeated four times before 
noon, by which time, the medicine man asserts, the hidden coal, 
splinter, or pebble is always brought to light and relief accomplished. 

Ii'a' Dalo"'ni Dt'ksto.ti' 

this yellow to make them 


sGe" I 'a-'no-Gwo^' Vt'grja-'ni-Ga' tcf'ste* Dalo-'ni' t^Da-'"= 

now then! ha! now thou hast come to rat yellow thou 


wea'-yu' | SGe" | *a'no*"Gw5^' a'N'owa'ci i;ne*'GO° De''Ala.= 

wizard, E now then! ha! now cloth white thou hast 

st'^t'ant'Ga' I no"Gwo"' Dalo-'ni *o°'-tV-'seso't*Ga' | *a^no-"Gwo°' 

come to put thy now yellow again-thou hast come ha! now 

feet on it to pull it out 

9*'°Dal-e-Gwo'!-i i-yg-'^na wo''"-t*utlGO*'t't*a'nfGa' *iDa-'"w€*t'-Dt-n8' 

lake, big, Loc yonder yonder thou hast come to thou wizard, E 

scatter it 

utst'^nawa' ng'DtSGe'sti' 'ya" 

beyond it he wOl say con- Sharplyl 

stretched tinuously 

*tV DaIo*'ni Dt'ksto.ti^ um^kwa'-N'S"" suly'yf-luGa' a't'tse'^i 

this yellow to make them (±black gum), and swampy laurel (red alder) 

vomit tree thicket 

u'uyu'Gtto^' i;''nali'Go!a°' aT>e''h no'°'ki' tyy'nGDale-'Gi 

(hazelnut) they together beads four they are so many 


a'niDalo*'nt-Ge'°' a'ntGaGe''^ a^ntGo"naGe^ u'ntn€*'GO° 

they yellow, like they red they black they white 

This (is) to Make them Vomit Bile 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen. Weasel, thou pow- 
erful wizard. 

Now then ! Ha, now thou hast come to put thy feet upon the white 
cloth. Now thou hast come and puUed out the bile. Ha, now thou 
hast come to take it far away, and to scatter it in the Great Lake. 

Thou art a wizard indeed. Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

This (is) to make them vomit bile. Black gum, white alder, red 
alder, hazelnut (are used) aU together. Beads, as many as four 
different kinds: YeUow ones, red ones, black ones, white ones. 



This formula is used for a form of Dab*'ni in which the whole 
abdominal region becomes swollen and painful, while the patient 
loses appetite and becomes unable to retain food in his stomach. 

The medicine man invokes the weasel, called by the Cherokee 
"yellow rat, " tcrste'Dzi, here abbreviated to tcfste* being the generic 
name for rats, mice, and weasels. Here again we have the color 
correspondence between the disease and the curing spirit. 

The medicine man induces vomiting to dislodge the bile, by giving 
the patient to drink a warm decoction of the inner bark of the four 
small trees named i;ni'*kwa, Nyssa multiflora Wang, black gum; 
sulu'yilGa, Clethra acuminata Michx.,^^ white alder; a't'tse'!i (or 
itse'U), Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng., red alder; i^'yu'cma', 
Corylus americana Walt., hazelnut. 

It will be noted that the inner bark of all these trees has a peculiar 
yellowish color, this again carrying out the theory of color sym- 
bohsm . 

The medicine man first recites the formula and then gives the 
patient a drink of the medicine. This is repeated four times, after 
which he allows the patient to drink as much of the decoction as 
he can swallow. The whole ceremony and appUcation is performed 
four times before noon. 

After the patient has drunk the decoction the medicine man 
"takes him to the water"; he gives the sufferer some wann water 
to drink, which causes him to vomit the bile, after which he finds 
relief. This vomiting sometimes weakens the patient considerably, 
so that the medicine man has to give him some sour corn gruel 
"k*a'no'e''na" to drink, to keep up his strength. Although not 
noted in the manuscript, it is probable that the medicine man ad- 
dresses some formula to the "Long Man" (as in No. 15, p. 190) and 
that the beads mentioned are used only at this part of the ceremonj^ 
The beads are deposited on a piece of cloth and the whole is taken 
after the ceremony by the medicine man as his fee. The yellow 
bead typifies the disease, the red denotes the powerful spirit which 
conquers it, the black signifies the great lake in the Night Land 
into which the disease spirit is cast, and the white is emblematic 
of the happiness which comes with recovery. 

[It is deemed necessary to draw attention to the fact that as a 
rule medicine men are unable to explain the symbolism of the beads 
and of their colors as is here done by Mr. Mooney.j 

*8 Another specimen was identified as Hydrangea acuminata Small. 






Da'mne*'su'GQ-' a'Da^ng-'wo'tT 

whenever they have to cure anyone with 
them drooping 


now then ha! now 

i;'s5ni;"'li akski' 

quickly evening 

tSQ-'N'ili'Ga' 1 

he has come and 
hit thee 

he passed 

Galo'H Gah'li Galo'!i 

1 'a'-uSoni;*'li 
hal quickly 

enemy— L 


it is, App 

ts9-'N!tthl£-°.i' ^° Galo'^i 

he has hit thee, App. he passed 

Galo'H Galo'!i 


(This is) the Treatment When They Have Them Drooping 


Now then! Ha, now swiftly the enemy has come and hit thee. He has passed 
by (four times) . 

Ha, it is but the enemy (who) swiftly came and hit thee, it seenris. He has 
passed by (four times) . 


This formula is for the same purpose as No. 10 and is very smiilar 
to it; the treatment also is about the same. The medicine man 
recites the first paragraph, and then rubs into the eyes of the patient 
a little of the itse'H (Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng. ; also Alnus serrulata 
Willd., alder) infusion, the bark being used, after which he blows 
into the eyes, holding the eyelids apart as he does so. 

The same is done after the recitation of the second paragraph, and 
the whole ceremony is repeated two or four times. 

Dn€'\sta*'ne"ltDo!9"' i;G9"'wiitli' !t'a' 

whenever they have pain about for the purpose this 

(a) SGe" I 'a'no'"Gwo'' Vt^Qija-'m'Ga' awo'^a'^li' wo*'ttGe*'° 

now then! ha! now thou hast come to listen Eagle brown 

*aGal9'ldt"-DZ9 tsD'ttt^o't'sttDe'Ga' a'na t3i;''staD0'*Gi iyQ*°'D8 I 

hal above, direction thou art staying, moving about wood they are tops yonder 


thou wizard, E 

been said, L 

asGt" no 


V DD no"a-Gwo 



it is, App 

GW5°' tsu'ttsta*y"itt-Gwo'' 

L (=E) it (is) for they food L (=E) 

t'ang-'^Do no'^"t'9*ne*'lfGa' 

been said at the thou hast done it for him 
same time 

(6) SGe" I 'a'no-^Gwo"' 

Gese-'^i' (o°')^i talu-'Do'- 
it has been said, L. it is, App animal-ghost, it has 

i;'sonu''li ^'''y^'st'ant'Ga' | tsutse''lt- 

thou hast come to 
take it away 

I utst^'nawe-Gwo"^' 

beyond it stretched, L. 

I tsu" I tsu" 


Gese" "1 

it is, App 

I tsu'' 


it (is) thine, 


it has 

I tsu" 




. {etc\ 





™ Correction by editor; instead of tsgNumle"!, an evident slip of the pen. 
^1 Emendation by editor. 


(c) sGe" I *a'no'"Gwo^' ^a't'oqa-'nt'Ga' uwo^'a'^li' o"'na= 

Eagle black 

Ge-° . . . (etc.) 

(d) SGe" j Vno*"Gwo" V't*9r)a'm-Ga' uwo"a"ir tsunc--'= 

Eagle thou white 

Ga° . . . (etc.) 
5 DVsv^'Ga tsi»-'nt'8*no°' | Du*si;"Ga tsu-'nsti*'Ga a-'^skwa= 

Oaurel) they are tall (laurel) they are little (Indian poke) 

ne'Do"' n9"\vo't'i' | €""wso!i Dtk'a'nuGo/ 

to cure with (Fetter Bush) to scratch them with 

This (is) for the Purpose of It, Whenever They Have Pain 

IN Different Places 


(a) Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Brown Eagle. 
Ha, thou art staying, moving about, yonder in the treetops. 

Thou art a powerful wizard. It is only what has become a ghost 
(that has put the important thing under him); it is only what has 
become an animal ghost (that has put the important thing under 
him). Quicldy thou hast come to carry it off. It is thine; it is thy 
food. Relief has happened at the same time. Thou hast come to 
m.ake it so for him.^^ 

Tsuh! {4 times). 

(b) Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Blue Eagle 
(etc.) . . . 

(c) Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Black Eagle 
(etc.) . . . 

(d) Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou White 
Eagle (etc.) . . . 

Great laurel, mountain laurel, Indian poke (are) to treat (them) 
with; fetter bush (leaves) to scratch them with. 


Another formula for the treatment of shifting pains. (No. 33, p. 
215.) It consists of four paragraphs addressed to the eagles. The 
medicine consists of a warm infusion of the leaves of Dvsu^'Ga tsi;*'nt*8= 
n5°\ RhododcTidron maximum L., great laurel; DuSL»"Ga tsi;nstt"'Ga, 
Kalmia latifolia L., mountain laurel, calico bush, spoonwood; 
a'^^skwane-'na, Veratrum viride Ait., American white hellebore, 
Indian poke, making a very pungent application, which is rubbed 
upon the sore spot by the medicine man, after having scratched the 
skin with the prickly serrated edge of a bunch of the leaves : e'"wso'*i, 
Leucothoe catesbaei (Walt.) Gray, fetter bush. 

7» The patient. 


The medicine man scratches only over the aching part, no matter 
how small it may be, and repeats the operation and the application 
at each spot in turn as the pain shifts about, until it disappears, or, 
as the medicine man says, "until the important thing is driven out." 

When the pain extends over a larger area, as over a whole side of 
the body, the whole surface is scratched. 

Each paragraph of the formula is recited while rubbing on the 
medicine, and at the end the m.edicine man imitates four times the 
cry of the e,agie: tsuh, tsuh, tsuh, tsuh, after which he blows four 
times upon the spot. The ceremony is repeated four times before 
noon for four mornings, the scratching being performed only at the 
first application each day. 


n^-wo-t'i' kVno^^e(!a°^3) 'tj^' nalo-'ni ya^ndfk'o'!a° 

to cure with it tells this yellow if they urinate 

tSDVaDf-'na ustr'aa | so.\-n'5°' y't'uno"' tsu'wanu-'na 

they have arteries, it small other, and tall they have arteries, 

sinews sinews 

Gu*'lstan5!t-Gwo^^ iiGa*'n9wa' Ge'.SQ.'i | uDO^'toGWUDo"' u'n- 

It has been steeped, L. warm it has been, H. all day they must 

dt't'a.sti' I no^'ki' Ga-kt'Q-'°Da a-ma' uGa''n8wu-N'3°' 

drink it four restricted salt warm-and 

This Tells (About) What to Treat (Them) with if They 

Urinate Yellow 


Small sinews and the other (kind:) Large sinews should merely be 
steeped warm; they must drink it all day. Four (days) restricted: 
Salt and warm (food). 


[It appears from Mr. Mooney's notes that this prescription is one 
of those which Ay. obtained from u-'tlanQ-'^ng. (See p. 3.) Ay. 
copied them in his book, but in some cases did not get the oral direc- 
tions along with them, so that in several instances he was not able to 
tell Mr. Mooney any more than the written formulas or prescriptions 
actually contained. (See p. 157.)] 

In this case the patient drinks a warm infusion of the herbs named 
and abstains from salt and hot food during the period of the treatment, 
viz, four days. 

^ Interpolated by editor. 



[Bull. 99 


i;*'ndfksti' yu'nulstuN!€"'!a° ng'wo't'i' 

other, and 


they (are) red 

they to 
urinate with 


this here — L 

go' Ik WO -ci' 

if they are stopped up 
to them 




they (1.) to be put 

to cure 


it must 

nQ"'''DOGwt*' ya 


Ges^. 1 

it has been, 

(This is) to Treat (Them) With, if They have Their Urinary 
Passages Stopped up 


And this one right here is another one also: But seven red sourwood 
twigs should be put along with the rest into (the infusion). 


This is likewise a prescription against a urinary trouble but against 
one of a different order, viz, suppression of the urine. A warm infusion 
of the same simples as those prescribed in the previous recipe is to 
be made, but in addition, seven sourwood twigs are to be added to 
the other ingredients. 

[It is clear why the sourwood twigs, ng'^DO'Gwc^'ya, Oxydendrum 
arboreum, (L.) DC. (also Nyssa sylvatica Marsh) are chosen to effect 
relief: the disease is thought to be caused by the urinary passages 
being twisted, kinked, coiled, clogged up; the smooth, even twdgs are 
considered the very best means to restore them to their original 
straight, smooth condition. 

Sourwood twigs are also the favorite material for making arrow 





o'^^'naGe-"' a 




black tc 

cure anyone with 

'a:y^' 1 

SGe" 1 


Day6*'n9 1 


(Excl.) now then! 

ha! roughly 

he comes 
towards us 



1 D aye- 'no 


he wizard 



1 Daye-'no 


wood, Loc 



Dayc-'na | 

beyond it 

ho holds in 
his hands 




it will be said 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 223 

(b) 'a:yt' I sGe" I 'a'GQ°tsa'Go° Daje-'na I Day€-'n9 | 

(Excl.) now then! ha! roughly he comes 

toward us 

aDa''"\Ve!i' Daye''n9 | J)aye''n& \ 
he wizard 

no°'y3'-!i!a°' Daye-'no | Daye-'na 

rock, Loc 

utst'^nawa' axye''i Daye^'no | 

beyond it he holds in 

stretched his hand 

i;tsi''nawa' G9Dt'ski:+ 5 

it will be said 

(c) 'a:yi' | SGe" | 'a'GQ^tsa'Go" Daje-'uQ \ Daye-'na | 
(Excl.) now then! ha! roughly he comes 

toward us 

aDa"'"\veoi' Daye^'no | Daye^'na | 

he wizard 

ama*'-yt*-Dzo°' T>ay€-'n3 \ Daye^'na 

water, Loc, direction 

vtsi'^nawa' oLXjeli Daye"'na | 

beyond it he holds in 

stretched his hand 

vtst'^Eawa' G9Dt'ski:+ 10 

it will be said 

(d) 'a:yt' | SGe" | 'a-G9°tsa'Go° Daje-'riQ \ Daye'^na | 

(Excl.) now then! ha! roughly he comes 

toward us 

aDa-'"W6!i' Daye-'na I Baye-'jld I 

he wizard 

i;'Q'°DZ3'-yi' Dayf'na | caye-'na 

cold Loc 

i;tsi'*nawa' axye'!i Daye''n8 | 

beyond it he holds in 

stretched his hand 

utst'^nawa' GODt'ski:+ 15 

it will be said 

a'a a'Da^n^'wo'tT a'ntsko''li yu''nal9-t'e'*a° | 

this to cure anyone with their head if they faint 

u'naste'ts.sti'Ga ngVo't'l' | tso''la-Gwo°' na/skwo" 

(Virginia snakeroot) to cure with tobacco, L also 


it (is) good, E 

This (is) the Medicine (for) the Black "Yellow" 


(a) Ha-yi! Now then! Ha, boldly he comes toward us. 

He comes toward us. 

He, the wizard. 

He comes toward us (bis). 

From the forest. 

He comes toward us (bis). 

He holds relief in his hand. 

He comes toward us. 

Relief will be caused. 
(6) Ha-yi! Now then! From the rocks. ....:; 

(c) Ha-yi! Now then! From the direction of the water 

(d) Ha-yi! Now then! From the Cold Land 

7548°— 32 16 


This (is) the medicine (for) their head, if they faint. Virginia 
snakeroot (is) to cure (them) with; (or) merely tobacco is also veiy 


This is a formula for the cure of dizziness or fainting fits accom- 
panied by headache and sometimes also by pains in the back of the 
neck and in the breast; the collection of these symptoms is known 
to the medicine man as "black DaloTii," or literally ''black yellow." 
The patient feels faint and giddy on rising suddenly from his seat. 
The medicine man further states that as the disease progresses the 
lips and circles round the eyes turn black, and in extreme cases red 
blotches appear on the face, especially about the mouth. Ay. 
calls it a variety of DaloTii, while another medicine man, Da'kwaDt'!i 
(Mooney, Myths, PL XIII), ascribed it to sunstroke. The medicine 
is an infusion of u'naste'tstf'oa, Aristolochia serpentaria L., Virginia 
snakeroot, wanned by dropping into it seven Uve coals, and blown 
upon the head, breast, and back of the neck of the patient. When 
the snakeroot can not be procured the medicine man blow^s the juice 
of ordinary chewing tobacco upon the patient in the same way. 
While he chew^s the tobacco he takes a sup, before each blomng, from 
a cup of pure water, into which seven live coals have been dropped 
as just described. An infusion of snakeroot is said to be frequently 
used as a wash in cases of headache. 

The patient is placed sitting, facing the east, while the medicine 
man stands a short distance away holding in his uplifted hand the 
cup containing the medicine. He then sings the first verse, after 
which, without approaching any nearer, he blows the Uquid four times 
upon the head of the patient. This operation is repeated with each 
of the four verses; when coming nearer, he blows his breath four times 
upon the head of the sick person. If there be pains also in the breast 
or back of the neck, the operation is repeated in the same w^ay, 
blowing upon the part affected. 

The song is addressed to four different classes of invisible "Little 
People" [see p. 25], the spirits of the forest, of the cliffs, of the water, 
and of the Cold Land, or the North, the last being invoked probably 
on account of the feverish condition of the patient, or because, as 
the other medicine man (DakwaDui) asserted, the sickness is due to 
the heat of the sun. 

oIbuecIts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 225 


Waf tsuntt'e'la'e^a"' a'Da'n^'WO'tT | 

this they have them shaking to cure anyone 

SGe" I v'soli askuja.' o'^'naGe-'^' i;'Da-NJt'e-''*lo!i' Ge'Se-°- 
Now then night Loc man black he has thought it it is, 

(.i'^^') I aVxfS-e-'GWO" DuDa-N*t'e-'''loJi' Ge-S6-°(.i^*)' 

App female animal, it big he (E) has caused it it is, App 

sGe" no'GWo^' 'at^9r)a"'nfGa' | no^DO'-jn, sto'tlt'o'tsti' | 

Now, now thou hast come to listen sun, Loc You (2) are staying 


Stt'skliya' sttGf'GaGe*"' stt'Da""We" I a'GfS-f'GWO" Di)-Da"= 

you (2) men you (2) red you (2) wizards female animal, big he (E) 

N!t'e-''no!i' Ge-se-°(.i^*)' | u^'sonu-'li De'H'tsta'sksb-'o'^Jt'anfGa' 

has thought it it is, App quickly you (2) have come to cause him to let 

go his grip(ping hands) 

i;tst'^nawu*Gwo^' nu*'d8.t'an9'D8 I n5°'t'\sto*ne'-ltGa' 

beyond it stretched, it has been said at the you (2) have come to do it 

L (=E) same time for him 

D€"'G0'St'sisG-9''.i I !i'a' tSii'ntt*€"'lo^€!a°' a'Da'n^'WO-tT I 

They have been gathered this they have them shaking to cure anyone with 

together, T L 

tso-'l-tyi;"sti usti''Ga GaDi;*'s*-e'!i i;sti*'k*t-Dfno°' riQVo't'i' [ 

tobacco-like small mountain, it lives very small, E to cure with 

Gu'' I Wa"''GtGu' i;Stt''Ga DtDZO"t'^StO.'tt-GAVO^^ 
to make a cymling small to blow them with, L 

steep with 

This (is) the Medicine Whenever They Have Them Shaking 


Now, then! It is the Black Man from the Night Land who has 
caused it. Surely, it is the Big Bitch that has caused it. 

Now, then! Now you two have come to Ksten, you Two Red 
Men, you wizards, you are staying in the Sun Land. It is the Big 
Bitch that has caused it. Swiftly you two have come to cause him 
to relinquish his grasp. Rehef itself has been caused at the same 
time. You two have made it so for him. 

This is the medicine whenever they have them shaking. (Of) the 
small mountain-growing tobaccolike (plant), a very small portion 
steeped in a smaU cymling is to treat (them) with. It is just to be 
blown on them. 


This formula is for the treatment of a disease in which the arms 
shake and tremble violently, as in some forms of paralysis. The 
ailment is, however, stated to be of a temporary character. 

No explanation as to the cause could be given beyond what is 
contained in the formula itself, according to which the "Black Man" 
in the Night Land is held responsible for the trouble. [The identity 
of the Black Man is discussed on page 24. 

^* Interpolated by W., recorded by editor. 



[Bull. 99 

This is the only instance where the Black Man is identified with the 
aGtSe'GWO" OF Big Bitch. 

From what has been said (p. 24) it results clearly that the Two 
Red Men are without any possible doubt to be identified as the 
Two Thunder Boys.] 

The medicine is a little of the root of tso*'ltyi;'sti ustt-'ca Gatu-'se'U 
(Lobelia spicata Lam.), steeped in cold water, in a small fresh c3Tnling 
gourd. The C3rmling thus used in medical practice is always procured 
from out-of-doors just when wanted, and is put safely away again 
outside the house when the operation is over. This precaution is 
taken, as was explained to Mr. Mooney on a subsequent visit, to 
prevent the medicinal virtues of the cymling being spoiled by the 
presence of a menstrual woman in the house. 

The medicine man first scratches the skin of the patient over the 
seat of pain as described elsewhere, and then, after reciting the 
formula, blows the liquid four times upon the spot. The formula 
and blo\ving are repeated four times at each application, and the 
whole ceremony, without the scratching, is performed four times 
before noon and if necessary also for four consecutive days. At the 
conclusion of each application the patient drinks a little of the liquid. 
As he is usually very weak, no fasting or other taboo is enjoined. 


JiV y^'nawa.'sti a'oa'nQ-'wo'tT 
this chill to cure anyone with 

(a) SGe" 

Now then 


thou hast come to 


they little 

5ntGe* SQ"na 





beyond it, 

n9*'D0'-GQ*-yi 't'skiiya' 

Sun, Loc. thou Man 

Go'u'sti tsimu-'tti 

something thou failest 

Detso' tltu'^wtstt' D€' Ga' 

they surround thee as thou 
goest about 

Gf'GaGe*"' ii'sonu-'li 

thou red quickly 

ntGe"'s9"na' | a'ntDa'"we' 

never they wizards 

Go'u'sti *t'DZinu*'la'o°"sld 

something you all fail (Hab.) 

I Ga ntS9* wa gc'sq* 

underneath it is, T. L. 

Ge'SQ"' DaDu"'kt'ant*Ga' 

it is, T. L. it has become decided 

n^'^DtSGe'sti' I 
it will be said 

tsi;'Du*''kt'ano'!i GeS€"'°(.i ''^] 

it has been decided it is, App. 

Ga ntSQ* wa 


it is, T. L. 

(6) SGe" I i;''9'Dzo"'-yi 't'skiiya' sa''k'o*ni' (etc.). 

Now, theni Cold, Loc. thou Man Blue 

(C) SGe" 
Now, then! 



thou Man 




" Emendation by editor. 






Measure worm, big, Loc. 

{d) SGe" 

Now, then! 

ii-'s5m;''li 'a't'9'r|a"'nrGa' 

quickly thou hast come to listen 

a'ntDo/"we" tsu'^n^Astf' 

they wizards they little 

DttsoHH'o'ts'ti 't'skiiya' tsune''G9 

thou art staying thou Man thou White 

Go'u'sti tsum;*'lti 

something thou failest 

D€' tsot'l ty'"wistt' De" Ga' 

they surround thee as thou 

iitGe* sy'Da | 

I GoS'sti 


you all fail 

niGe" so'na 


goest about 

Ga'ntso''wa tsi-Du'kt'ano'U Ge'se*°(i ^^) 

Ga ntso* wa 


it is, t' L. 


they have come to conquer him 

De' GO"St StSG-0" .1 

they have been gathered, 

T. L. 


it has become decided 


beyond it, stretched 

it has been decided 

I GaN^sta' 



it has been said 

it was, App. 

they are red 



to cure anyone with 

to cure with, and 

soft and 


it put in (along 
with the others) 




it which is 


the other 



Dye" Ja a 
it naked 

k O' G-askODa Ge 

ground hog, his forehead 


it which is 


bear for him to lay on 


This is the Medicine for the Chill 


Now, then! Thou Red Man of the Sun Land, quickly thou hast 
come to Usten. Thou never failest in anything. The Little Wizards 
surround thee as thou goest about. You all never fail in anything. 
It has been decided underneath, it seems. {An& it is the truth :) it has 
been decided underneath. Underneath rehef be caused constantly. 

Now, then! Thou Blue Man of the Cold Land {etc. . . .). 

Now, then! Thou Black Man of the Night Land {etc. . . .). 

Now, then! In the South thou art staying, thou White Man; 
quickly thou hast come to Hsten. Thou never failest in anything. 
The Little Wizards surround thee as thou goest. You all never fail 
in anything. Underneath it has been decided, it seems; (and it is a 
fact:) it has been decided underneath. They have come to conquer 
him with the red switches. Rehef has been caused. 

Where (the directions) have been assembled: this is the medicine 
for the chill. And the medicine is fern; (and also) the other fern, 
the one that is naked; and the one which is soft; the ground hog's 
forehead (fern) and the bear's bed (fern) ; this all put together. 


This is another formula for the cure of chills, a disease which, 
although attributed to the ghosts, is said to rise up "from under- 

" Emendation by editor. 

228 BUREAU or American ethnology [bull. 99 

neath," which is another way of saying that it has its origin in malarial 
exhalations in the vicinity of the house. This explains the expression 
so often repeated: "It has been decided underneath." The same 
word (cant'tli) is now used for both a bedstead and a board floor, but 
in fonner times the Cherokee cabins had no floor but the ground, and 
the "bed" was a raised platform running around next to the wall on 
the inside. As the Indians never dreamed of keeping the premises 
clean it was the universal custom among the eastern tribes to occupy 
a house untn the acciunulated filth rendered the site unhealthy, when 
the site was abandoned and the inmates removed to a new location. 

The fonnula consists of four paragraphs differing but slightly 
except as regards the color and location of the spirit invoked. Each 
one is named in the regular order, east, north, west, and south, with 
the corresponding color, red, blue, black, and white. Each one is 
also said to be surrounded as he goes about by a number of subor- 
dinate and auxiliary spirits, probably the "Little People" so often 
invoked, the countless spirits that dwell in the air, the forests, the 
cliffs, and the water. The great IMeasure Worm (wa't'li e-'cwo'^), 
figuratively used in the fomiulas to denote the south is said to be a 
mountain on the border of South CaroHna, perhaps the same known 
as Caesar's Head. It is quite possible, however, that the mythic 
wa*t'li had no real existence, and that the modern Cherokee have 
simply confused the name \dth that of Walhalla, a town in upper 
South CaroHna. 

The medicine consists of a warm infusion of the roots of several 
varieties of fern; [tGo°*'li is a nam.e given to any variety of fern; mthout 
any more definite description it is not possible to identify it; it may 
be one of the follo'W'ing species: iGo°'^h i;wo*'sktli' ustf'ca, OsmuTida 
cinnamomea L., cinnamon fern; tGo°"li uwo''sktli' noyo'^i e'!i, Cystop- 
teris Jragilis (L.) Bernh., bladder fern; too'^^li vje'''\aa'^' , Dennstaedtia 
pundilobula (Michx.) Moore, hay-scented fern (also iGo'^^li Dawt's= 
kaGf'.i) ; k'o'Gaskg^DaGe, Adiantum pedatum L., maidenhair fern ; yo-'no 
i;DZe''sto', Polystichum acrostichoides (Michx.) Schott., Christmas fern]. 

The medicine man holding a cup containing part of the decoction 
in his hand, stands on the east side of the patient, who faces him. 
The medicine man then recites the first paragraph, addressing the 
Red Man, after which he takes a draught of the liquid and blows it 
four times upon the head and the breast of the patient. Then moving 
around successively to the north, west, and south of the patient, he 
recites in order the remaining three paragraphs, blowing the medicine 
on the patient after each one as described. The ceremony is repeated 
four thnes before noon, and for four days, if necessary. 

[For the reason why the ferns are used, see page 54.] 

OlbrecIts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 229 


u'soDu'li' y'nHaTi€'9"'[.i"] a'Da'n^-wo'tT a'a* 

quickly they attack him to cure any one this 

(a) a'ntskii'ya am'lo!!' | 

they men they just passed 

e"'tlaWt*'lli ant'^lo'i' [ 

under the earth they just passed 

utst^-nawa^ aDo'''nt'Ga' | 

beyond it, stretched it has been said 

(6) a'nisku'3^a ant'Io'i' | 5 

they men they just passed 

€*'tlaWt''lli allt^lo!!' I 

under the earth they just passed 

utst^-nawa' aDO^'nfoa' | *a:yi' 

beyond it, stretched it has been said 

(c) €'D0-'d9 "^ aDa'^Ncti' tSaGe''\yi;*f-yu' GalQ"'ldi' | 

my father the soul he loves thee, L. above 

aDa'^Nuti' tSaGe'^yu^'yu' e-D0"'D9' | 

aDa-'N!ti' tsaGe''*yi;*t'yil' Galo''ldi' | 10 

aDa-'N!ti' tsaGe'"yi;*fyu' | 'a:yi' 

(d) €-Du-'tsi ^^ aDa*'N*ti' tSaGe'^yy'f-yu' Gal9-ldi' [ 
my maternal uncle the soul he loves thee, E. above 

aDa'^Ncti' tSaGe'^'yu^-yu' e'Du'tsi' | 

aDa*'N!ti' tsaGe'^yf'fyii' Galo*'ldi' I 15 

aDa-^N!ti' tsaGe'^'y^'fyu' I 'a:yi' 

(e) no-'r)wo"na' s9"'ntlaGt^* ^° | (4 times). 

(/) SGe" I Si;*sa' Ge'Sf' y'lsGe-'DQ Duny'y't'ani'le*'*.!'' | 
Now, then! ? it is, App. it important he has put it under, App. 

e"'DZalf.t-G\v5'^ 'tGe''se'.i' 
? L. it which is, App. 

SGe" I 't'skliya' ts'A^stt-Ga' | 't^Da-^We" I i^DO^'a^le' 
Now, then, thou Man thou Little thou wizard sunny side 

Gu'tiaDO-'Gt Ge'SO'' *€"'DZakso'"o°'t'ant'le'°.i' | aDa*'N!to' 20 

hill-side it is, T. L. they have let thee down, App. the soul 

'aso'^'Gatit'stski' I Go'u'sti tso*so'^"Gatli^st'a' | t'Ga-Ga'ta' 

thou art continually something thou art taking a firmer light, it hangs on 

gripping back grip 

t*0''ne!i' I aDa'^N!to' 'as5°"Gath'stski' | uso"tDa' ni;"'Da'no"'n9 

thou art doing, the soul thou art continually gripping night-been it has not been 

App. back said 

vtst"-nawu-Gwo^' aDO^'nfGa' | 'ya* 

beyond stretched, L. it has been said sharply 

" Emendation by editor. 

"8 W. D. form; C. D. = aGiDO"'Da 

^9 W. D. form; C. D.==aGt'DU-'tsi. 

8"? ? Very probably contaminated, from sQniGalo-GiIi= where Broken Rock is. 


This is the Medicine When they Attack Him Suddenly 


The men have just gone by, 

Under the earth they have just gone by, 

They have caused rehef . 

The men have just gone by, 
Under the earth they have gone by, 
They have caused relief. Sharply! 

My father on high loves thy soul, 
Thy soul my father loves. 
Thy soul, he on high loves, 
Thy soul he loves. Ha-yi. 

My uncle on high loves thy soul, 
Thy soul my uncle loves. 
Thy soul, he on high loves. 
Thy soul he loves. Ha-yi. 

N§''qwo*na' SQ'^ntla^GiJi' (4 times). 

Now then! It is merely su'sa that has put the miportant thing 
under him; it is merely eDZalf.i. 

Now then! Thou Little j\'Ian, thou wizard, on the sunny side of 
the mountain slope you have been let down. When the soul sHps 
out (of thy hand), thou art continually gripping it back; thou art 
doing as one who takes a firmer grip of something (when it is about 
to escape from his grasp). Thou art continually gripping the soul 
back, (and) not for one night (only, but forever). Relief has been 
caused indeed, sharply! 


This peculiar formula is intended for the treatment of what, from 
the description given of the symptoms, appears to be apoplexy. The 
patient is stricken suddenly, becomes black in the face, and falls to 
the ground struggling and gasping for breath. The attack is fre- 
quently fatal. The sickness closely resembles that described in No. 
16 and is attributed to the same cause: the raccoon, on account of the 
gasping sound made by the struggling victim. The raccoon theory 
in connection with gasping attacks seems to be held by the medicine 
men generally. 

The formula consists of a song of four verses, followed by a recited 
part. The medicine used is an infusion of the root of o"'DahGa'°li, 
Panax trijolium L., dwarf ginseng, groundnut, to which the leaves of: 
tso''laGay9''4i, Nicotiana rustica L., wild tobacco, may be added. 
The ginseng may be used by itself, but the other herb can not be 
used without a small piece of ginseng root. 

The hquid is heated by dropping into it four or seven coals of fire. 

Sometimes also the arms of the patient are scratched and some 
pungent decoction is rubbed into the scratches. 

Olbbechts] 'i'HE SWIMMER MANUSCRIPT 231 

The medicine man facing the patient and holding the cup in his 
hand begins by singing the first verse, after which he takes a draught 
of the hquid and blows it four times upon the head and the breast of 
the sick man. The same operation is repeated with each of the other 
three verses. Finally he recites Ithe "parlando " part ofl the formula, 
after which he blows his breath four times on the top of the head 
[the crown], the back of the neck, and the face of the patient. The 
ceremony is repeated four times if necessary. [If the attack is con- 
sidered so serious that immediate action is necessary, no time is lost 
in procuring ginseng or wild tobacco, and the medicine man merely 
blows water on the stricken man.] 

The formula contains a number of expressions which the medicine 
man himself from whom it was obtained [Ay.] could not explain, as 
he in turn had obtained it from his grandfather. In fact, he was 
complete] 3^^ in the dark as to the meaning of the formula, and when 
pressed for an explanation became sullen and asserted that he recited 
the formula as it had been handed down to him, and that it was not 
for him to question its autliority. The same difficulty was experi- 
enced in connection ^^■ith formulas obtained from other medicine men, 
and goes to show the antiquity of the formulas, while it also proves 
how much of the sacred knov/ledge has been lost. As Ay. was born 
about 1830, his grandfather was probably a boy wlien Adair wrote 
his account of the Cherokee and the other southern tribes in 1775. 

The words e*D0"'D8 and e'Ou-'tsi show that the formula was originally 
written by a Cherokee speaking the Western Dialect, the correspond- 
ing forms in the ISIiddle Dialect being a^GiDO^'no and a'ctny'tsi. [I 
noticed during my 1926-27 stay, however, that among the Central 
Dialect speaking Cherokee these two Western Dialect forms are quite 
frequently used.] 

[As to the persons or spirits meant by "my father" and "my 
(maternal) uncle" no information could be obtained, neither by Mr. 
Mooney nor by me. As is known, it is common for American 
Indians to call a poM^erful protecting spirit by some name denoting 
relationship, and this is also frequently done by the Cherokee: they 
wiil address the moon as "grandfather," and will proclaim them- 
selves the children of the "Old White One," i. e., the Fire, or of 
the "Long HmPxan Being," i. e., the stream, the river, the flowing 
water. No doubt the meaning of these expressions has to be looked 
for in that direction.] 

The expression "a'msku'ya ani'lo!i'," "The men have just gone 
by," occurs also in a song to cure headache. (No. 2, p. 170.) Who 
the men referred to are, the medicine men can not tell. Ay. was of 
the opinion that they were the Thunder Boys, commonly spoken of 
as the Two Little Men, or the Little People, i. e., the spirits inhabiting 
the cliffs, the mountain caverns, etc. The latter explanation is more 


probable, as the Little Men here referred to are spoken of as "going 
by under the earth. " 

[su^'sa and e"'Dzalf'.i are the same names as given to the disease 
spirits of No. 45, but as already stated no Ught can now be thrown 
on the meaning of the word, nor on the identity of the spirits meant. 

The same refers to the expression n9*'qwo''na sg-^nJa'ctJi'. The 
latter part of this might possibly be connected with an expression 
which is rather common in the formulas, S9*'ntGa'lo*Gt'!i, "where 
Broken-Rock Mountain is. " 

This formula furnishes a good illustration of the difference between 
the colloquial language of the people and the archaic language of the 
formulas, this difference being so great that [the vocabulary of] the 
medicine man is almost unintelligible to the laity. 

The "Little Man" addressed in the last part of the formula and 
who "has been let down on the sunny side of the mountain slope" 
is none other than the ginseng plant. (See p. 171.) 


!t'a' ama'^-yi Df'Da"Dz5°'st'oti' f'nDanf'yuoa^ 

this water, Loc to take people there with it they have been left 

(a) SGe" I '(.'Gayo'li tsime-'Go" aDa-'N!ti' De'tsckalo''s9*' 

Now, then! thou old thou While the soul thou hast relinquished 

thy grasps, T L 

tG9''wulst'anoyi-Gwo" I o'ysi' tsu'Dfya''st'ane*'lfGa' | ay€''= 

it has become worthless, L Fire it has been left for thee years-passed 

Ga^lo'isti' GeSe'Sti' | kHl' 
it will be Come on 

5 (6) SGe' I y9*wi Ga'no't*D8 no'^GWo'' aDa'^N^ti' De''tsck= 

Now, then! Human Being long now the soul thou hast 

alo''s-o*' (etc., as in a.) 

relinquished thy 
grasps, T L 

(c) tGQ'yi' Galg'l-?'' G€'''yci-Gi;*'G9 DiGa.'^skJ^' DttS9"ye!a' | 
first above, Loc woman, E (?) tables thou hast laid them 

a'Gtsti' vne''G9 u'tla'e'De a'Do'm'sfsti' | GQ''Dasawo'Mtye''Da 

food (sol) while moved it will be said it covered over 

a^Do'nt'se'sti' I stGiPlta aSDo'm'se'sti' o'y^' I tsu'Dtya''= 

it will be said pushed away (?) it will be said fire it has been left 

lOstane-'h-Ga' aye-'Ga^lo^'tsti' Ge'^se'sti' 
for thee years-passed it will be 

(d) t'a'^lfne*' Dt'Gal9*'lDt--y9-' Ge^^^ja-Gv''G9 (etc., as in C.) 

second above T L woman, E 

(e) tso-\-nf' Dt'Gal9"'lDfy9*' Ge*''yaGD-'G8 (etc., as in c.) 


(J) no°^'Gfnf' (etc.). 


(g) 't'skfnf' (etc.) 


15 (h) su*'Dali*ne-' (etc.). 

(i) Golkwo*'Gfnf' (etc., with at the end:) *ya* 

seventh Sharply 

oIShts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 233 

This Is To Take Those That Have Been Left (Alive) To the 

Water With 


Now, then! Thou Old White One, (the moment) thou hast taken 
thy (protecting) grasp away from the soul, it has become worthless. 
(But, do not despair:) the Fire of the hearth has been left in its place 
for thee;^^ thou*^ \\'ilt (yet hve to) be old. Come on! 

Now, then! Long Human Being, now thou hast withdrawn thy 
(protecting) hand from the soul, {etc. , . .). 

In the first upper world, thou Woman by excellence, thou hast 
prepared the white tables. The white food will be circulating. It 
will be covered over (by the hands of the ghost?) but the covering 
(hands) will be pushed away. The fire (of the hearth) will be left 
in its place for thee;®' thou v/ilt yet live to be old. 

In the second upper world, thou Woman by excellence {etc. . . .). 

In the third upper world, thou Woman by excellence {etc. . . .). 

In the fourth upper world, thou Woman by excellence {eic. . . .). 

In the fifth upper world, thou Woman by excellence {etc. . . .). 

In the sixth upper world, thou Woman by excellence {etc. . . .). 

In the seventh upper world, thou Woman by excellence {etc. . . .), 
{with, at the end:) Sharply! 


This is a typical example of a formula "for taking them to the 
water with. " tit has been discussed at length by Mr. Mooney in 
his "Cherokee River Cult," pages 4 et seq.] 

This is the most impressive of all the ceremonies of the Cherokee 
and is performed only on important occasions, such as the birth of a 
child, the death of a relative or a \QTy close friend, to obtain long Ufe, 
in preparing for the ball game or for the green corn dance, at each 
new moon, to counteract the evil conjurations of an enemy, and in 
connection with some of the more important love formulas. A 
similar but less elaborate ceremonial may be performed for the less 
important of the purposes enumerated above, by a layman, without 
tlie intervention of the medicine man. 

The various formulas for taking patients or clients to water usually 
differ but shghtly from one another, the principal feature of all of 
them being the lifting up of the chent's soul by successive stages to 
the seventh upper world. 

The one here given is performed for the joint benefit of all the 
members of a family, who are all present, after the death of a near 
relative, for the purpose of maldng them forget the deceased (see 
p. 26). 

81 Addressing the patron. 


[Bull. 99 

The first paragraph is addressed to the Old White One, the Fire. 
It is recited by the medicine man inside of the house of his chents, 
while standing in front of tlie 1j earth and looldng down into the fire. 
He has his back turned to the members of the family, wlio stand in 
line with their backs turned toward him, and facing the open door [of 
the cabin]. The medicine man lias with him an assistant, who, at 
the conclusion of the paragraph, ejaculates: "k'u" ("Come on!"), 
and precedes the family, who start in procession to go down toward 
the stream, the medicine man following. 

On arriving at the stream, the persons for whose benefit the cere- 
mony is intended stand in line, side by side, close to the water's edge, 
with their eyes intently fixed upon the water rushing by, while the 
priest stands behind them, with his hands outstretched and looldng 
straight ahead ; he then recites the paragraph addressed to the Long 
Person, the River, followed by the seven others addressed to (a)Ge''= 
^yaGv'GQ, the Woman by excellence, the Sun, represented as the 
owner of tables covered vdth "white" [or success-bringing food. The 
recital ends with the assurance that the clients will not die, that they 
will yet occupy their place at the hearth, that they will live to be old.] 

During this part of the ceremony the attendant is closely watching 
the appearance of the water in front of the clients for the distance of 
an "overhand " from the bank. Should a stick, a fish, or any object 
whatsoever come mthin this limit during the recitation of the formula, 
it is a sign that the death in the family was caused by witchcraft. By 
certain signs in connection with the appearance of the object, the 
medicine man is enabled to guess the whereabouts, or even the name, 
of the enemy, who must then be proceeded against in another cere- 
mony to anniliilate the influence of any further activities of his. 
Should the water appear clear and undisturbed, the death was not due 
to human machinations and no other ceremony is necessary. 

As the priest mentions in turn each of the seven upper worlds — each 
of which is figuratively said to be an "overhand" above the last — he 
gradually raises his hands higher and higher, until at the concluding 
paragraph they are stretched high above his head. At the final 
**ya'", his clients of one accord bend down, and, dipping out the 
water with their hands, they lave their faces, heads, and breasts, or 
else, wading out into the stream, they duck under completely seven 
times in succession. 

Each upper world represents a definite period of life, usually a 
year, sometimes a month. In ceremonies for long hfe it usually 
stands for a year. Should the omens in the water be propitious up 
to the mention of the third, fourth, or fifth upper world, the client 
will live in peace three, four, or five years longer. If all goes well 
until he is raised up to the seventh or highest upper world he may 
expect at least a seven years' lease of life. Beyond this the pro- 
phetic ability of the Cherokee medicine man never goes. 

Olbreotts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 235 

Should, on the contrary, an unfavorable omen be perceived in the 
course of, let us say, the paragraph relating to the fifth upper world, 
the priest knows that some great danger, possibly death itself, 
threatens the man in five days, five months, or five years to come. 
This necessitates the unmediate performance of another ceremony, 
accompanied by fasting and going to water, to turn aside the impend- 
ing peril. The final result is usually successful, as the priest seldom 
ceases from his labors until the omens are propitious. If, however, 
all his eftorts prove to be without avail, he frankly informs his client 
of this, who is often [unpressed to such an extent by the medicine 
man's suggestive prophesies and by liis own autosuggestion that he 
not infrequently^ loses all courage, becomes despondent and listless], 
believing himself doomed by an inexorable fate, finally sickens and 
actually dies, thus fulfilling the prediction. 


i;n€''tsta"'ne'o"' Ga'na'ni;'G0''tstD9''.i 
whenever they have it is appearing about (Hab.) 

(a) SGe" I *a'-no'Gwo°' 'a't'9'i]a''nfGa'' tsrya' Gf'GaGe*"' 

Now then ha, now thou hast come to listen Otter red 

no"Do*'-yi uDZf'-Dzo.e'''-yi a'm-€"Gwo'!-i DtHsotlt'o't'sti | n'sonv'li 

sun, Loc beyond, direction, Loc water, big, Loc thou art staying quickly 

Do-'t^a^le^'^rja' I asGt-'na i;''DD'-no'!t-Gwo'^' Ge"'sf.i' I tsu'tse-'li 

thou hast arisen, ghost it has been said, L it is, App. it is thine 

facing us 

Ge-'se*.i' I ^'"y(r'st'ant*Ga' Dttsa°los9'-r)wo" w-o°-'t'S^o''stVnfGa' 5 

it is, App. thou hast come to taka where thou hast passed, L thither, again, thou hast 

it away gone to take it away 

0"'Dal-e*'GWO''i' W-0°'-'t'skwantGO*'t*ant"Ga' iGO''willsto.'Dt-Gw5°^ I 
lake, big, Loc. thither, again, thou hast gone to store it up who cares what happens to it! L 

i;'s5"t-Da^ ni;''D8'no''na | I'tst^'nawa' nu''d9t'an9"'D9 | no'^t'on- 

night, been it has not been said beyond it, stretched it has been said simul- thou hast 


e-'h-Ga' I *ya'' | tsu" | tsu" | tsu" | tsu*' 

come to do sharply (onom.) 
it for him 

(6) SGe" I nD-"'Gw5" 'a't'oija'^nrGa' tsi-ya' wo'^DiGf'' n^-'^ 

now, thenl now thou hast come to listen Otter brown sun, 

Do*-yf'-DZ8 e*'skt''-DZ9 ^-'oal-e-'Gwo^-i' u'wo'Gt'tti nt'Gat'9"' 10 

Loc, direction this side, direct lake, big, Loc foam as high as 

t'y9"'D9 Ditso'tlt'o^'sti I Go'u'sti tsumr'iti ntoe'^sgna' asGf'n9 

yonder thou art staying something thou failest never ghost 

D"'D9'no'!i i;'Da"N!t^€-"lo!i' Ge-'sf.i' I 'o°-'iyo"'stanfGa' Q-'Da- 
it has been said he has thought it it is, App. again, thou hast come to lake, 

take it away 

l-€-'Gwo!-i uVo'Gt'tii nt'Gat^Q-'.i' t't't'o'i'st'ani'Ga' I '^^a" | 

big, Loc foam as high as thou hast gone to put it to stay sharply 

tsu" I tcu" I tcu" I tsu'' 


(c)^^ SGe" I no'Gwo"^ 'at'^'ija-nt'Ga tsfya sa'k'o'ni (etc.). 15 

otter blue 

{dy^ SGe" I n3°Gw5^ 'at'o'qa'm'Ga tst'ya o°'naGe" (etc.). 

otter black 

^2 Added by J. M., based on information given by Ay. 



[Bull. 99 

When They Have Pains Appearing About in Different Places 


Now then! Ha, now tliou hast come to listen, Red Otter, in the 
Sun Land beyond the great water thou art staying. Quickly thou 
hast arisen, facing us. It is merelj^ what has become a ghost (that 
has caused it). It is thine. Thou hast come to take it away, merely 
by passing, (and) thou hast taken it away over yonder, and thrown 
it into the great lake. Who cares what happens to it? (There it 
shall remain) not for one night (only, but forever). Relief has been 
caused forthwith, thou hast come to do it for him. Sharply! Tsuh! 

Now then! Now thou hast come to Ksten, Brown Otter, in the 
direction of the Sim Land, on this side of the great lake yonder 
where the foam is (piled up) high, thou art staying. Thou never 
failest in anything. It is what has become a ghost that has caused 
it. Thou hast come to take it away; thou hast gone to put it into 
the great lake where the foam is (piled) high. Sharply! Tsuh! 

Now then! Now thou hast come to listen, Blue Otter (etc. . . .) 

Now then! Now thou hast come to Ksten, Black Otter, (etc. . . .) 


This formula is for the treatment of shifting or moving pains, 
called technically by a name which means "when they have pains 
appearing about in different places." The ceremony and treatment 
is the same as described under No. 66, with the addition that the 
medicine man imitates the cry of the animal addressed as he presses 
his thumb upon the sore spot. He also blows upon the place after 
each pressure. 

The ailment in this case is ascribed to the influence of a ghost. 
The medicine man explained that the formula to be complete should 
have two more paragraphs, which he forgot to write down, address- 
ing the Blue and the Black Otter, dwelling in the Cold Land and in 
the Night Land, respectively. 

!i'a' Df'ntskwuGf'ni 

this their side 

ii''s5^'D8-'a'' u'tb'a' 

night, been E (?) it (sol) is in it (?) 



to euro anyone with 

I (4 tmies) 

a a*.yt 'ya 

{a) SGe" 
Now then 

5 t'o't'sti 


a' a'.yi 


ha, now 

*i'skuya' Gf'GaGe 


thou hast come to listen 



nQDO* -yi 

sun, Loc 

thou man 


tDa- "Wea -GO'Oa 
thou wizard, E 


thou art 


Dt'Gf GaGf' 
they red 


they have come, as a bundle, in 

thy (hand) 

G9*tSa't'ot9Gf*-ya' De= 
roughly E thou 





^•k'awfDg'fGa' | 

hast come and 
lifted them 

i;lsGe"'D9 i;''sonu''li 
it important quickly 

De't'o'tit^anfGa' I i;tst''- 
thou hast come to put beyond it, 

it on its (legs) 

n awa 


a" a'.yt 


aDo nfoa 

it has been said 


i^tlo'a' (4 times) 

^a-.yi 'ya 


now then 


it is, App 


it important 


it which he has put 
under, App 


? L (E), E 

(6) SGe' 

now then 

iGe- SeM 
it which is 


ha, now 

*o°\stat'9''r)a*'nfGa'' stt'skiiya' 

again, you two have 
come to listen 

you two men 

Da* "We t -GO"Ga 
two wizards, E 


I Stt= 

Dt-Gf'Ga= 10 

stiGi'^GaGf' Dt'ststfGa' I n9*Do*-'yi Dt'sto'tlt^o^'sti 

you two red you two little sun, Loc you two are staying 

u'soni;-'!! DO''tsta^le''or)a' | GaN^sta' 
quickly you two have arisen switch(es) 

facing this way 

De'stotiske-'wust'anfGa' | GQ-tsa't^otaGt'-'ya' De'sttk*awt'= 

they have come as a bunch roughly, E you two have come 

in your (hands) 

Da'fGa' I u'lsGe-'DQ nt.Di;*'lt'an9"'D9Gwu'-Dt*n8' n5°"t^'ston€"'= 

nd picked it important (he has) gotten up simultaneously you two have come to 

them up 

It'Ga' vSO 

do it for 




t-yf -DZ9 
night, Loe, direction 

L (=E), E 

119 'no' Wt'De'Dy'Dano'^Da'si' 
trail(s) they will lie stretched out 


he never to look back 

nt'Ge* SQ-jia. 


I nS°'t'i'stone-'lt*Ga' | 

you two have come 
to do it for him 

nt-'t'it'o'i'st'am-Ga' ^^ 

there, thou hast put him 
there to stay 

stretched, L 


thou hast caused him to relinquish 
his grasps T L 

it will be said continuously 

USO -t" 
night, Loc 



t-yc?- D9 


i;tst"= 15 

beyond it. 

a a".yi ya 
utst'-nawa' Go'tlta'a'^' (4 times) 

beyond it, stretched it rubbed (?) 

*a"a*.yt *ya* 

(c) SGe" I *a'-su*'su-GWo"' GeSf' i;*lsGe''D9 
now then ha, L it is, App it important 

e"'DZalf'.t-Gwu^-Di'na' *t'Gesf' 

L (=E), E it which is, App 

SGe' I 'a'-no'Gwo'^' ^^°"stat'o■qa•'nt•Ga' stt'skiiya' 

now then ha, now again, you two have come to listen you two men 

k'o-'ni Dt'ststf'Ga^ u'*o-Dzo-'-yi' Dt'sto'tlt^o't'sti GaN^sta' 

blue you two little cold, Loe. you two are staying switch(es) 

k'o-'ni De'st5tlske-V"st*ant"Ga' (etc., as in b) | 'ya^ 

blue they have come as a bunch sharply 

into your (hands) 

^ A better form would be: wtt*tst*o*ist*antGa=you two have put him there, etc. 
^* A better form would be: Det'tsttskab o°*t'anfGa=you two have caused him, 

Dvni;-'y'tVntle*.i' 20 

he has put it under, L 

you two 



This is the Medicine for Their Sides 


Ha-ha-yil Sharplj'! 

All night it has been in it (?) (4 times). 

Ha-ha-yi ! Sharply ! 

(a) Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou (who) art 
staying in the Sun Land, Ked Man, thou powerful wizard! The red 
switches have become bundled in thy hands, roughly thou hast come 
and picked them up. Quickly hast thou come and put the important 
thing on its feet. Relief has been caused. 

Ha-ha-yi! Sharply! 

All night it has been in it (?) 

Ha-ha-yi! Sharj^ly! 

Now, then! It is merely si;"sa that has put the important thing 
under him; it is merely e"'DZalf'.i. 

(h) Now, then! Ha, now you two in your turn have come to listen, 
you Two Little Red Men, you are stajdng in the Sun Land, you 
powerful wizards. Quickly you have arisen, facing this way. The 
red switches have become bundled in your hands, roughly you have 
come and picked them up. The important thing has gotten up forth- 
with, you have come to do it for him; his paths will stretch out toward 
the Night Land, never again he will look back; you have come and 
done it for him. You have taken him to the Night Land, and have 
put him there to stay, after you had forced him to let go his hold. 
Rehef will be caused constantly. 

Ha-ha-yi! Sharply! 
Relief by rubbing (?). 
Ha-ha-yi! Sharply! 

Now, then! Ha, it is merely su'sa that has put the important thing 
under him; it is merely e'Dzalr.i. 

(c) Now, then! Ha, now, you two in your turn have come to listen, 
you two Little Blue Men, you are staying in the Cold Land. The 
blue switches have become bundled in your hands (etc., as in (b)). 


This is for treating a pain in the side. The medicine man from 
whom it was obtained could assign no particidar cause for the sickness 
but another practitioner declared that it was due to tc'sko*'ya or 
insects which might have been put into the sick man's body by a 
hostile conjurer. In accordance with this tlieory the second medicine 
man called upon the birds to come and eat the [insects]. 

Neither of them could explain the words su'sa or eDZalfi, the names 
given to the disease spirit [see p. 232, nor could any of the medicine 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 239 

men consulted during the editor's stay with the tribe give any infor- 
mation on this subject]. 

The disease spirit is driven out by the Red Man, the Two Little 
Red Men, and the Two Little Blue Men, all of whom carry threatening 
switches in their hands, with which to thrash the intruder. The 
formula as here given consists of three parts, each containing a song 
and a prayer. It is quite probable that it had originally a fourth 
part, which has been lost [in the course of tradition]. The treatment, 
in regard to which both authorities agreed, consists of a simple rubbing 
with the warm hands, as indicated in the last song. The medicine 
man sings each verse while holding his hands over the fire, and 
recites the following paragraph while rubbing the sore spot on the 
patient's body, blowing four times upon the place at the close of 
each paragraph. 


ir'a' nQ-Vo-t'i' v'naDZ€-^no'ise'o'.[i8«] tsa^ndtsko°(.i'85) 

this to ciure with when it does it to them that which they call, H 

k'ulse-'ozi' y'skwa-ye'lo^'H vskwatT 

(Honey locust) short body— Loc they have it (sol) 

at the top 

This (is) to Treat (Them) with When "It Affects Them in 
Such a Way," as They Usually Call It 


Honey locust; venus looking-glass; red buckeye. 


This is a prescription to cure an aggravated form of dyspepsia or 
indigestion caused by overeating. The abdomen becomes swollen 
and the patient has an insatiable appetite, but constantly loses flesh. 

The medicine used is the bark of k*ulse''Dzi, Gleditsia triacanthos L., 
honey locust, and the roots of u'skwaye'lo'^U, Specularia perfoliata (L.) 
A.DC, Venuslooking-glass; y'skwatT, AesculuspaviaL.,^ed buckeye, 
steeped in warm water overnight. Early next morning the medicine 
man goes to the stream with the patient, who bathes himself all over, 
and then drinks a little of the infusion, bathing himself from head 
to foot with the remainder. The operation is probably repeated, if 
necessary [according to the regular pattern]. 

*5 Emendations by W.; recorded by editor. 
7548°— 32 17 



[Bull. 99 


*i'a' i*na'Do° uTitskotltso'U aDa'n^-'wo'tT 

this snake they have bitten him to cure anyone with 

SGe" I *a''no-"Gwo"' *a't*9r)a-'nfGa' | Gfna' tsune-'Go° | 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen Fawn thou white 

(rna'DGGWO''" Ge'Se'^^) Dt'kVyuGa' tS9-N!f'D8 Dc'Du-CQWe-'^w'sU" 
snal:c, L it is, App. teeth they everUving he has ad vanced them 

Dadi'le-i' I iiQno-ci' 

towards him trail — Loc 


5D€''Galo''tsfGa' | 

they have become 

Du "Dana' ^WUDe'GQ" 

it has laid itself about 

Dt'k'ayu'ca' Do""so° 


Ha, now 

Gf na 




thou white 

V SOnv' 11 


it sucked 

Now, then! 

thou wizard 


thou hast come to 
do it for him 

*a-^no"Gwo^' 'a't'9r)a"^ni"Ga 

ha, now thou hast come to 




thou white 

fHa D8*GW0 

snake, L 

advanced them toward 
him, App. 

10do*'sO° De"'Galo*'tSfGa' 

weak they have become 

Gese' Dt'k'ayu^Ga' tS9"Na"'Da De"'DuGO- 

it is, teeth they everliving he has 


nono-'i' Du*^Dana''"wuDe*G9' I Dt'k'ayy'Ga' 

trail, Loc it has laid itself about teeth 




it sucked 


ha, now 


it has been said 



thou white 

This is the Medicine if Snakes Have Bitten Them 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou White Fawn- 
Imitator. It was but a snake (which) has advanced its everUving 
teeth to (bite) him, as it was lying stretched out about tbe path. 
The teeth have been broken and made weak. Ha, now Thou White 
Fawn-Imitator, quickly thou hast come to suck it for him. 

Nov/ then! Ha, now thou hast come to Hsten, thou WTiite Lizard, 
thou wizard. It was but a snake (which) has advanced its everliving 
teeth to (bite) him as it was l3^ng stretched out about the path. 
The teeth have been broken and made weak. Ha, now, thou "White 
Lizard, quickly it has been sucked. 

explanatio n 

This is a formula to cure an actual snakebite with, not a ''dreamed " 
one. (See p. 176.) Ay. had procured it originally from another 
medicine man, who had died some years previously. He was unable 
to give the meaning of the word Gfna' [but this was held by other 

^8 Interpolated by J. M. 

oIbSts] the swimmer manuscript 241 

medicine men consulted to be an abbreviation of Gf'na a'^ye-lt'soi, 
a mythic kind of serpent which owes its name to its habit of imitating 
(a'**ye"h"'sGi = he imitates, Hab.) the bleat of a fawn ((a)Gi*na') so as 
to ensnare its mother. 

On hearing the bleating, the doe, believing her young calls her, 
hurries to the spot, and the mythic serpent catches the artless animal, 
by merely striking out its huge tongue, and swallows it. [The extra- 
ordinary "licking" powers of this monster is without any doubt the 
reason why it is being appealed to in this formula to come and hck 
or suck the wound.] 

The Lizard meant is the alligator lizard {Sceloporus undulatus) 
which has the habit of alternately puffing out and drawing in its 
throat, as though sucldng, when basking in the sun. There is an 
obvious consistency in caUing upon these two animals, in accordance 
with their nature to suck the wound. 

The medicine is tobacco juice [ordinary chewing tobacco being 
used]. The medicine man recites the first paragraph while chewdng 
the tobacco, and then applying his mouth to the wound, sucks out 
the poisonous matter or Dalo*'ni, "yellow^." Then, taking a fresh 
quid, he recites the second paragraph, and again sucks the wound in 
the same manner. The whole ceremony is then repeated, so as to 
make four suckings, which are said to be sufficient in ordinary cases. 
The medicine man holds the tobacco in his mouth while sucldng, and 
does not, as might be supposed, suck out the poison first, and then 
apply the tobacco juice. Before chewing tobacco, as it is now used, 
was introduced by white traders, the medicine men probably used 
tso-'laGayQ-'^li, Nicotiana rustica L., wild tobacco [which has now 
become so scarce with the Cherokee that it is only used in minute 
quantities in certain of the more important ceremonies. (See p. 75.)]. 

a'a' u-'udtle'^o^'sG^-' a'Da^ng-'wo'tT 

this whenever they have it hot to cure anyone with 

sGe" I ^aMiso^-i tso'tlt'o't'sti a'tsuti' o'na'Gf | DO"'tsule'*- 

Now then ha, night, Loc thou art staying fish black he has got up, 

nf.i' t-'G-aye^'^U u's5"-tD8' u'D9-Na'l€'.i' | n^Do-.'-yi Dt'tsotl= 

facing day, middle night, been he has come and sun, Loc thou art 

us, done it, App 


t'o't'sti a'tsiiti' iine*'G9 | no-'Dtyu'le'nf.i' ^^ f'G-aye"*li | 

staying fish white he has arisen, facing us, App day, middle 

't'so°.i^ u'lntDf'-tla-Gwo"^ ^^ ayo"'we*'so'tl9"'D8 DO''DZi;le''nf.i' 

this other near by, direct., L he resting as he goes along he has got up, facing 

us, App 

^^ Archaic form; same meaning as DO'Dzule*ne-.i (line 5). 
88 W. D. form; C. 'D.-v■ltL■l>z^Gw6•>. 


f'G-ay€"*li I u-'Dtle^ci De.i;-'natso't'st'am'lf.i' | *a-'-na'na' 

day, middle Heat they caused them to come ha, there 

together, App 

i;'so"-tD9' yndo-'ne'th'le'.i' I yQ''wi a'Dayo-'lt'awa' vndQ-'ne'- 

night, been they have come to do it, human being glimpsy view they have 

App come 

th'le-.i' DDzo-'noDze-'ca-Gwo"' D-ndo-'ne-tli'lf'.i' | v'Dtlc"Gi 

to do it, he full of admiration, L. they have come to do it, App Heat 


i;-nDZ0-'5°'t'ani'le-.i' ts^ye-'thlo^t-GWO^' 'tGe-'sf.i' 

they have let it down, App he has been overcome, L it which is, App 

5 sGe" I v^Q-Dzo-'-yi Dttsii'tlt'o'ts'ti 't'skiiya' sa*k'D*'m 

Now then cold, Loc thou art staying thou man blue 

'e-'Gwo'f' I a'tsutt-Gw5"' Ge-'sf' v'Dtle"Gi Dvkso"5°'tf',i | 

thou big fish, L it is, App Heat he has let it down, App 

V-no-'Gwu-Dt-'na De^*t*ask8lo-"o°t'a'ni-Ga' | i;so''i-yt-'-DZ8 

ha, now, E thou hast come to make him night, Loc, 

relinquish his grasps direction 

nQ-no'i' wt'De*Di;-'Dan9-"5°'si' | ^'lo'f'tb ^^ i-'JQ'' ^ aDayi^-'h 

trail (s) they lie stretched out toward somewhere yonder glimpsy 

the distance 

t'awa' D9-'D0"N'€'*e'sti' | na"na-Gwo"' y'so-^ioa' wt'-Dg-DQ-'NcC^ 

view he will do it for him there, L (=E) night, been there he will do it 

lO'e'sti' I 'a^-no'Gwo"' wo'tlt'o'i'st'ant'Ga' | De't*ask8lo-"o°= 

for him ha, now it has gone there to stay thou hast made him 

relinquish his grasps 

t'all-Q-'.i I utSt"naWU-GWO'^' lltGO-'DtSGe-sti' I i;S0"-iD8^ ni;"'D9'= 
T L beyond it, stretched, L it will be said continuously night, been it has not 

n9"'no I i;tst*'-nawa' aDo*'nt'Ga' | 'ya*' 

been said beyond it, stretched it has been said sharply 

This is the Medicine When They Have it Hot 


Now, then! Ha, in the Night Land thou art staying, White Fish. 
He has arisen, facing us, in the middle of the day, and at night he has 
done it. In the Sun Land thou art staying. White Fish. He has 
arisen, facing us, in the middle of the day. Quite near this other 
one he was resting, it seems, (as) he rose up, facing us, in the middle 
of the day. They have caused the Heats to come together. There 
at night they have come to do it. Where human beings (live) and 
move about flittingly, they have come to do it, it seems. They have 
come and done it, full of envy. He has been overcome by the Heat 
which they caused to come down. 

Now, then! In the Cold Land thou art staying, thou great Blue 
Man. It is a mere fish that has caused Heat to come down. Ha, 
but now thou hast come to force him to let go his hold. His paths 
lie stretched out toward the Night Land. Somewhere in the distance 
he will be (seen) flittingly carrying on (his activity), but there it will 
be doing it for a night (onl}^. Ha, now, (in the Night Land) it has 
gone to stay; thou hast come to force him to let go his hold. ReUef 

89 W. D. form; C. D.: Mo'*iDzo°'. *" Abbreviation for ty$'D9. 

o^^prtJ the swimmer manuscript 243 


indeed will be caused constantly, (and) not for one night (only, but 
forever). Relief has been caused. Sharply! 


The medicine used with this fomiula to cure fever attacks is a 
decoction of Dale'^na tsi'-'nt'ano"', Linum usitatissimum L., common 
flax, with which the patient is washed,* the medicine man pouring the 
liquid upon the head and allowing it to run down over the body of 
the sick man. 

The medicine man first recites the whole formula, then applies the 
hquid, and finally blows liis breath four times upon the head and 
shoulders of the patient. This is repeated four times at each appli- 
cation, and the ceremony is repeated four times before noon, and for 
four days, if necessary. The Cherokee medicine men are said to be 
skillful in treating fevers, and the patient commonly experiences 
speedy relief. 

This formula is again a beautiful exemplification of the Cherokee 
disease theories: the fever is caused by the fish, i. e., the fish- 
ghosts, not by the living fish, which are harmless. The Black Fish 
rises up from the great lake in the west, or "Night Land," and is 
joined by the White Fish from the east, or "Sun Land." The two 
go along side by side until they come to the abodes of men, or in the 
words of the formula ["where human beings (live) and move flittingly 
about"]. Here they pause overhead and look down, filled with 
envious admiration. From the east and from the west they bring 
two spirits of Heat, and send them down upon the people to parch 
and wither them as with a hot blast. 

But now the medicine man calls upon the spirit of Cold, the Blue 
Man of the Cold Land or north, to drive out the Heat. He comes at 
once and breaks the hold of the disease spirit upon the sick man, and 
drives him on toward the great lake of the west, where all disease is 
banished. This result is not attained by one effort, for the disease 
spirit is seen ["flittingly, carrying on his activity in other places"]. 
But finally it is pushed into the great lake by its pursuer, where it 
must forever remain. 


^'a' Dawf'ne'a^^ i;-^mtlo-i]9-'.i92 I 

this they living iu whenever they are ill 

the wood 

Da"'"W8DZf'l8 I k'u'wtyi;"sti \ i'De'!a I Df'tlastaGt*'sti I 

(Slippery Elm) (Sycamore) ' (limetree) (foxglove) 

S3.i°' so*"Gwo°' u^'^ye'^n^-'^na wo-'ttGe'"' no.tsf'-!i tsu^'^ye-ag*' 

other one it has grown up brown pine, Loc they stand 


'^ Contracted out of a't2--a'wi-ni-an€!i wood, underneath, they are living. 
»2 W. Dial, form; W. Dial. -tl->C. Dial. -ts-. 


Di'HlastaGf'sti I Do-'"lat'si a''wf-*ya' tstDe"'Ga".G\vu't'a lyyVti 

(foxglove) (Ked oak) meat real that which they are like 

sticking on it (1) 

tst'oe-S?' S0\t-N!3''' fa^la' tStDy-'we-Da'tlalg-' tsu'nstf'Ga 

that which other and (white oak) it which lying along, H they small 

is, H 

tst'ki I' G0''ts5tlti' | 

it is this it (sol) put in 

with it 

This (is) When They are III (by) Those Living in the 



Slippery elm, sycamore, limetree, foxglove, another (of this land) 
which has one brown stalk (and) which grows in the pine woods, red 
oak which is the one that (looks as) if pieces of meat were sticking to 
it; and furthermore, the white oak that (looks) as if it had little 
(blowgun) arrow tufts; this (all together) has to be put into it. 


This is a prescription for the treatment of diarrhea or dysentery; 
this, the medicine men assert, is caused by " those living in the forest," 
i. e., the bear, deer, rabbit, and other game; [only quadrupeds are 
held responsible for this disease, in adults. If, however], children 
suffer from it, it is ascribed to the influence of birds. (See No. 78, 
p. 281.) The prescription here given furnishes a good illustration of 
the connection between the disease theory and the treatment as 
regards selection of the medicine and the taboo. 

The symptoms are described as a frothy discharge from the bowels, 
accompanied by griping pains in the abdominal region. The patient 
is required to drink for four days a decoction compounded of seven 
ingredients — another instance of the combination of the sacred 
nmnbers 4 and 7 — which completely purges the system, after which 
recovery foUows. 

The purgative elements of the decoction are Da*'"w8DZf'la, Ulmus 
fulva Michx., slippery elm, red elm; k'u'wtyi^'^sti, Platanus occidentalis 
L., sycamore, buttonwood ; I'Delsi, Tilia americana L., limetree, white- 
wood, basswood, of all of which the inner bark is used; while the two 
varieties of bl'^ tlastQGL'' sti, Dasy stoma virginica (L.), Britton, smooth 
false foxglove, are said to have a sedative and healing effect. 

The two varieties of oak, D0"'4a'tsi, Quercus rubra L., red oak, 
tVla', Quercus alba L., white oak, are used solely on account of their 
connection with the mythic disease agents, the game animals of the 
forest. The red oak, "which looks as though pieces of meat are 
sticking on it," is one of which the twigs have numerous excrescences 


or knots, resulting from the stings of insects, and suggesting to the 
Indian the idea of pieces of venison or bear meat strung upon a stick 
to be barbecued. 

By the "httle (blowgun) arrow tufts" on the white oak are meant 
the swellings or buds on the suckers which grow up from around the 
base of the tree, as compared to the thistledown at the end of a 
blowgun arrow. These suckers are considered to resemble in appear- 
ance the jointed sections of a rabbit's intestines, and thence to have 
an occult influence over a disease which may have been caused by the 
rabbits. The medicine man selects seven of these suckers and three 
or four of the knotty red oak twigs, each about a foot long, and puts 
them into the vessel with the decoction. 

The taboo includes salt and hot food as usual, together with greasy 
food of any kind, for the reason that grease, being derived from animal 
sources, would neutralize the effect of the medicine, intended to 
counteract the influence of those animals. 

vjQ-'.i i;'^ntVyo-°lo'!i n9'Vo"'t'i' 'iV 

diflerent they have inhaled to cure with this 

se"^hkwo*'ya Go'lkwo^'ci nu'^'ye^GQ*' tyi;'stt!a°' so''Gwo°'-!i 

(eryiigo) seven full grown like, each one, Loo 

This (is) to Treat (Them) With (When) They Have Inhaled 

Bad (Odors) 


Eryngo, seven full-grown (stalks) each (having) one (stalk) where 
(it grows). 


This prescription is for the cure of nausea or stomach disorder 
caused by disagreeable inhalations, as from a dead body (human or 
animal) or any fetid matter. 

The patient drinks a warm infusion of seven se''hkwo''ya, Eryngium 
virginianum Lam., Eryngo plants, which produces vomiting. 

The infusion is strained before use, and drunk once every morning 
for four days. Hot food is prohibited during this period. 

There is no ceremony, bat a peculiar injunction that the seven 
plants selected must each have but a single stalk. Such plants are 
rather difficult to find, as the Eryngo usually sends up a number of 
stalks from each root. (See p. 54.) 



tsa''nda-kt*€*'Go°N'3°' tsu-'Dale'n9-'°Da tsa'nskftsGa' 

it which they are restricting they are (different) they dream them 

themselves, and kinds 

Df'Dan€''l8wo''"ski k^uVyu^'sti S9"°'tiwu'°li tstVuDe-t*?''.i 

(wDd Hydrangea) (sycamore) (raspberry) it which, it has 

come down, H 

t't.tse'!i tsi;''nastyno''i ama''-yi ntGa"'Da | a'NJowa'Gt-NjS"^ 

(red alder) they have roots water, Loo all cloth and 

aVt*'ni u'N'ywS"' "wa'so'' a-.seci' tsu^'^yo'tsti' 
underneath her dress itself it must she will do without 

And (This is for) When They are Under Restrictions (and) 
They Dream of All Sorts (of Things) 


Wild hydrangea, sycamore, raspberry (a branch of which) has come 
down (and taken root again), red alder, all having their roots in the 

And she will have to give up her ONvn undergarment (as a fee). 


This prescription is for use when a woman, during her catamenial 
period dreams of bringing forth a bear, a litter of puppies, or some- 
thing of a sbuilar kind, out of the ordinary course of nature. 
tsa'nda*kt'€"G9*'.i Uterally: "when they are restricting themselves," 
is the technical term for being subject to the taboo rules (cf. Ga-kt'9°D8, 
"restricted"); although it is also used to indicate the restrictions to 
which either a male or a female patient may be subjected in case of 
illness, it is, in this connection, understood to refer to the injunctions 
to be observed by a woman during her menstrual periods. 

No formula is used, but the prescription introduces several inter- 
esting features of Cherokee medical practice. 

The patient drinks a decoction of the roots of Di''Dan€''l9Wo*'"ski, 
Hydrangea arborescens L., wild hydrangea; k*uV*yu"sti, Platanus 
occidentalis L., sycamore, buttonwood; I't.tse'^i, Alnus rugosa (Du 
Roi) Spreng., smooth alder, to which is added the root of an "inverted " 
raspberry branch S9"'ttwu'°li, Rubus strigosus Michx., wild red 
raspberry. Also, Rubus occidentalis L., black raspberry; thimble- 

As stated, not the root of the main plant is used but that of a 
branch that has taken root a second time. (PI. 6, a.) Such a 
double-rooted raspberry is an important factor in a number of 
prescriptions, although the medicine man was unable to assign 
any reason for the fact. [From information obtained at a later 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 247 

date by Mr. Mooney, it appears that a medicine man thought this 
kind of root was used], "because it is more bitter than the main 
root." [I did not find this view confirmed and would be inclined 
to think that it owes its popularity merely to such considerations 
as are discussed on page 54.] 

The roots selected are such as dip into the water from trees and 
shrubs overhanging the stream. Such water-growing roots are also 
frequently specified in the prescriptions [especially in those dealing 
with troubles of the urinary passages and related aihnents. Medi- 
cine men can not now advance any explanation of this peculiar 
injunction; the idea is probably that the unimpeded contact of 
these roots with the water renders them effective in the treat- 
ment of organs in which the flow of liquid (urine, catamenial blood, 
etc.) is laborious and defective.] 

By a loose wording of the sentence this provision ("all having 
their roots in the water") is made to apply also to the raspberry, 
which is not intended. 

All the roots, however, have to be taken from the east side of the 

The decoction is drunk several times during the day, in doses 
of about half a pint at a time, for four days, and affords relief by 
acting as an emetic and a purgative. 

The patient abstains from all food the first day until sunset, 
tlie second day until noon, the third day until late in the morning, 
and on tlie fourth morning eats breakfast with the rest of the house- 
hold. She abstains also from salt and hot food while under treat- 

For his pay it is specified that the medicine man shall receive 
the undergarment of the patient. [This may be some article of 
dress which we also would call an undergarment, such as a petticoat, 
a chemise, etc., but these luxuries are not yet generally introduced 
among the Cherokee, so that the undergarment is generally an 
older dress. Some girls and women wear three or four dresses, 
one on top of the other.] 


*t'a' u'niDzi*'ya Dt'Da*nQ'''wo*tT 

this they (are) worms to cure people with 

SGe" I *a'-no*Gwo"' u'seny'li Vt*9"r)a''nfGa' DaWi'skuIa^ 

Now thenl ha, now quickly thou hast come to listen Flint 

tsAstf'aa i o-'nali' tsa'sttoo'-^i Dt'tso'tlt'o't'sti' *tDa"'"we!i' | 

thou little mountain (s) they are little, Loc thou art staying thou wizard 

GaDo' tsiiny'lti ntGe*'s9'na' | i;'sonu"'li 't'kso'"st*Ga' | 

what thou failst never quickly thou hast come down 

v'ttawo'tu'tli ^* ast'Q'' De'*tDo^'®st*Ga' I tscko"'ya u'ska'se^'ti' 

swampy marsh edge thou has come and halted insects frightful 

9< W. D. form; C. D.=(v)sawo-tu'tti. 


u^nanuGO'^tseU' I uDZf'ya-Gwo"^ G€''sf.i' | tsDHlsta"'y'tt- 

he has come out, App it worm, L it is, App. (it is) what 

thou eatest 

Gwu-'Dfna' 'iGe-'sfi' | nfG9"\vaye*'l8n5°'5°'sG€*'stt-G\vo"' 

L (=E), E it which is, App a likeness of it will be left, L 

tSa'lDS-Q-'.r I 5""Dali u*'nd5hlo"iGWO'' 'tG€*'sf.i' I i;'ntDZt*'ya- 
thou hast animal-ghost (s) they have said it, L it which is, App they (are) 

passed, T L 

Gwo"' Ge'sf.i' I t'a'°ltn€-''Gwo'' *9-r)e-'t'ottsta-'yH'aiifGa' 

worms, L it is, App. second, L again, thou hast come and eaten 

them as thou goest by 

5ntG9'\vaye-'kno°"o'"sGe-'sti-Gwo''' tsa'bs-9-'(.i'^^) utst'-'nawu-GWo"^ 

a Ukeness of it will be left, L thou has passed, T L beyond it, stretched, L 

niGQ-'otSGe'sti' I utst'-'nawa' aDo*'nfGa' 

it will be said beyond it, stretched it has been said 


(h) sGe" I 'a'-no-Gwo°' w'sonv'li Vt'^ija-'iifGa' Dawt'skiila" 

Now then ha now quickly thou has come to listen Flint 

sa*k'o-'ni tso'tlti su'lu-y-f'Gwo-'U Dt'tso'tlt'o't'sti" (etc. . .). 

blue thy abode swampy laurel thicket, thou art staying 

big, Loc 

(c) SGe" I 'a'-no-Gwo"' D'sonv'li Vt'^rja-'iifGa' | Da'ootlGa' 

Now then ha, now quickly thou hast come to listen Goose 

lOsa'k'o-'ni | Galg'ldi tso'tlto't'sti' {etc. . . .). 

blue above thou art staying 

(d) SGe" I 'a'-no-Gwo"' u'sonu'li 'a't'grja'nfGa' | vtH' 

Now then ha, now quickly thou hast come to listen Swan 

tsunc'Ga I Gal^'ldi tso'tlto*j.'sti {etc. . . .) 

thou white above thou art staying 

{e) SGe" I *a'-no-Gwo°' u'sonu'li 'a't'oqa'nfGa' | Guwt's- 

Now then ha, now quickly thou has come to listen Bit- 

kuwi' sa'k*o"'m | Galp'ldi tso'tlto'i'sti {etc. . . .). 

tern blue above thou art staying 

15 (/) SGe" I *a'-no-Gwo"' u'soiiu'li 'a't'or)a'n6-Ga' | k*a'- 

Now then ha, now quickly thou has come to listen Sand- 

ng-stv'Va sa*k*o-'iii Gal9'ldi tso'tlto^t'sti {etc. . . .). 

piper blue above thou art staying 

This is the Medicine for Worms 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to Usten, thou Little Flint! 
where the Httle mountains are thou art staying. Thou wizard; 
what dost thou ever fail in? Quickly thou hast come down. At 
the edge of the ever-swampy marsh thou hast come to halt. It 
came out (as a) terrible insect (but) it was a mere worm. But 
that is the very thing thou eatest. A mere Ukeness of it will be 
left when thou wilt have passed. They are merely what have 
become animal ghosts. They are mere worms. (And) a second 
time thou hast again come and eaten them as thou goest by; a mere 
likeness of it will be left when thou wilt have passed. Relief will 
be caused constixntly. Relief has been caused. 

»5 Emeudation by editor. 

Olbk^chts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 249 

Now then! Ha, ndw thou hast quickly come to listen, Blue 
Flint, thou art staying at thy abode, the big swampy laurel thicket 
{etc. . . .). 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast quickly come to listen, Blue 
Goose, thou art staying above (etc. . . .). 

Now then ! Ha, now thou hast quickly come to listen, thou White 
Swan, thou art staying above (etc. . . ,)• 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast quickly come to listen, Blue 
Bittern, thou art staying above (etc. . . .). 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast quickly come to listen, Blue 
Sandpiper, thou art sta3dng above (etc. . . .). 


This is another formula for removing worms and closely resembles 
No. 32 (p. 213), both in principle and treatment. 

It consists of six paragraphs, the first two being addressed to the 
Flint and the other to four varieties of birds. The wording of the 
six paragraphs in the original is ahnost identical, the only differences, 
except as regards the spirits invoked, being such as might easily arise 
in transcribing. The complete formula occupies a considerable time 
in the recital. The goose, Da'co'tlaa' addressed in the third paragraph 
is the American white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons gambeli). The 
medicine man could give no reason for involving the flint, but tliis was 
explained by another practitioner, who stated that in a worm formula 
used by himself he put a flint arrowhead into the decoction and prayed 
to it under the name of Flint to cut the worms to pieces with its sharp 
edge. In Irish folklore a prehistoric flint arrowhead is used in the 
same way. 

The medicine used is a decoction of the roots of Gf'oaGe*^ 
a'Dzt"lo"'ski, Spigelia marilandica L., Indian pink; k'kwe" u-'lasy'la, 
Cypripedium parviflorum Salisb., Small yellow ladyslipper; and of 
the bark of u'skwiita^ L'str'oa. 

The decoction is sweetened with honey or with the pods of the 
honey locust, k'u'lse''Dzi, Gleditsia triacanthos L. (See p. 56.) 

The m.edicine is given for four consecutive days, in the morning and 
at night, the general ceremony being the same as described in No. 32. 
The final pass is around and then downward. The effects of the 
medicine usuaUy make themselves felt on the second day. The 
taboo consists of water, eggs, and greasy food. The patient drinks 
nothing but the decoction while under treatment. 



li'af i;'N!a\Va'to"'9"'ski' a'Da'n^-'wo-tT 
this it makes them as if to cure anyone with 

clothed, Hab 

SGe" I *a'-no-Gwo'' Ge^'ya-Gu-'oa' Du-'Da-N!t'6"€lo!r 't-'Ge-Sfi' I 
Now ha, now woman, E she (E) has thought it it which is, 

then App 

u'Dile^Gt-GWO''' 'i-Di;-'kso*'o'°'t'ant'l€'.i' | aye''ltGO''Gt-GWu'-Dfna' 
Heat L it which she (E) has simulator, L E 

let down, App 

i'ye*'lo'no'!i Ge"'se".i' I 
he has made it is, App. 

it like 

5 SGe" I *a'-no-Gwo"' Vt'^rja-'nfGa' Ct'skiiya' sa'k'o-ni' ^) 

Now then ha, now thou hast come to listen thou Man Blue 

i;''*9°DZ0'^-yi-''DZ9 DtHsotH'o''tsti' | v'siini^-'li D0-'t*a°le'9r)a' | 

Cold, Loc. , direction thou art staying quickly thou hast arisen, 

toward facing us 

Ge'**ya-Gi;''G8 Du''Da-N't*e*'*lo!r GeSf.i' | u'Dtle'^Gt Du-'kso''= 

woman, E(?) she (E.) has thought it it is, App Heat she has 

o°'t'e-'° I ayc'ltGo-'Gi-Gwu^-Dt'na' uye-'lo*n5'!i 't'-Gfsfi' | 

let it down simulator, L, E he has made it which, it is, App 

it like 

na'na' t*t't'o'la'st'anfGa' u^'ke'tt'ta-GWo"' tstDa'°le*5°ski f'Ga- 

right there thou hast come to fog, L when it rises (Hab.) light, 

cool it off 

lOGa't'a' Da'"le'o°ska' I i^'so^too'^ nv'Da'nQ-'na | vtst"-naw8- 

it hangs it rises night-been it has not been beyond it, 

on said stretched, 

Gwo"' aDo^'nfGa' *ya" 

L it has been said Sharply! 

This is the Medicine when They have Blisters 


Now, then! Ha, now it is the Sun who has caused it. That 
is the one who has caused Heat to come down. And she has made it 
(appear) as if it actually were a simulated disease. 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Blue Man, in 
the direction of the Cold Land thou art staying. Quicldy thou hast 
arisen, facing this way. It is the Sun who has caused it. She 
caused Heat to come down, but made it (appear) as if it actually were 
a simulated disease. 

Now thou hast come to cool it off. As the fog, when it arises, so 
does it arise, not for one night (only, but forever). Rehef has been 
caused. Sharply! 


This is a formula for the cure of watery bUsters which break 
out on the body in summer, and are caused, according to the medicine 
man, by the heat of the sun. 

9« Interpolated by J. M. 





The medicine used is a warm infusion of the bark of kwa^'lo'^oa, 
Rhus hirta (L.) Sudw. (also Rhus glabra L., smooth sumac) ; Dalo''ni, 
Rhus copalliiia L., dwarf sumac, which the medicine man pours over 
the affected part, after reciting the formula, the whole ceremony 
being similar to that described in No. 48. Whenever the water 
ceases to run from the blisters the cure is considered as effected, one 
application being sometimes sufficient for this purpose. There is a 
taboo of salt, beans, potatoes, eggs, pmnpkins, and cymlings for 
reasons already explained. (See No. 30, p. 210.) 

The sickness is ascribed to Ge^'^yaGu-'ca, the Sun (see p. 20), which 
sends the disease spirit. Heat, into the body of the patient. It is 
said to counterfeit aye'ltGo^'Gi, a disease brought about by evil 
conjurers, because the bhsters resemble the swelhngs caused in 
ay€*'ltGo-'Gi diseases by the cinders or sticks put under the skin of the 
victim by the conjurer's arts. The name of the relief spirit was 
inadvertently omitted in the manuscript, but he is brought from the 
North, or the Cold Land, and is probably the Blue Man as in Formula 
No. 48, page 241. He cools the Heat, and compels it to rise "lilie 
the fog when it arises." 


JiV a^mne'^Dzi a^Da'nQ'Vo'tT 

this their breast to cure anyone 


tiiksi' niGQ'Van9'^N!aDe*^G0°\i'' 

terrapin it does it to them as 

they go about 



trail (s) 

^a'-no'Gwo"^ o^'nali' 

ha, now * mountain(s) 

tsi;'sttGo!-i' u'so'^i-Df'tla ^' 

where they 
are little, Loc 

right, direction 


they are lying 
(stretched) about 


tu'ksi Di;-'Da-N!t'e''®loH' 
terrapin he (E.) has thought it 

in the middle they have come to hang on, App 

no* Gwo 


a' Gwo^ 


qwo" tSUDf'^USti' 


thou old 




thou White 

L (=E) thou surroundest him 

t'anilfi' I asGf'na-Gwo"^' 

put it under.App ghost, L 

D€*'t'ask9lo-'!o°'t'a'm-Ga' I 

thou hast come to make him 
relinquish his grasps 

tlaVo"t'a'''laGi' ^^ GQ'waDani;"'y*tiDe*'Ge*sti' 

ever (muddy) they will place him under as he 

it is, App 

GeSfi' I 

it is, App 


it important 


ghost (E), L 

thy body— T L 


it important 

thou Old 

night, Loc 


it is, App 


it is, App 


edge, limit 


he has 


thou White 




V so tD9 

nv D9 ng na 

it has not been 

moves about 


beyong it, stretched 


he has been made 


it will be said again and 


" W. D. form; C. D.=u'so'iDfDza. 

*' Emendation by editor. 

«« W. D. form; C. D.=sawo-t-. 


[Bull. 99 

This is the Medicine for Their Breast, When the Terrapin 
Affects them as They go About 


Now then! Ha, now he has his trails stretched about toward the 
little mountains in the direction of the Night Land. It is the Terrapin 
that has caused it. He has come to hang in the middle (of the body). 
It is but a ghost. 

Now, however, thou Old White One, at the very edge of thy body 
he ^ is sitting. It is the Terrapin that has put the important thing 
under him. It is but a ghost. Thou Old White One, thou hast come 
to make the important thing relinquish its grasp. Let him err about 
under the swamp, yonder in the Night Land. He has been made 
weak, and not for one night (only, but forever). Relief wiU be 
caused continuously. 


This is a formula for the cure of an abdominal pain, probably due 
to the violation of some one of the rules of digestion, although the 
medicine man asserts that it is caused by the Terrapin, which in some 
way "spoils the saliva" of the patient. This diagnosis is based 
exclusively upon the fact that in the disturbed sleep which accompanies 
the illness, the sick man dreams of terrapins. Precisely the same dis- 
ease would be ascribed to the evil agency of the snakes or of the 
fish, or of any other animal, if the sufferer happened to dream of 

In the formula the Fire is addressed as the Ancient White One, 
and is asked to drive out the important thing, the disease which has 
come from the little mountains in the Night Land, the West, and 
to put it away under the mud, so that it may not get out again to 
do any further mischief. The fire is generally invoked against the 
terrapins, snakes and fishes, for the reason that these cold-blooded 
animals are unable to withstand the heat. 

The treatment consists of rubbing the abdomen and administering 
a strong herb decoction to cause vomiting so as to dislodge the "spoiled 
saliva." The plants used are skwo*'l y't'ano"'', Asarum canadense L., 
asarabacca, wild ginger; skwo*'l Dstf'oa, Hepatica acutiloba DC, 
liver leaf; tii'ksi wo-yi', Epigaea repens L., mayflower. 

The last name means "terrapin's paw," a fact which doubtless 
has something to do with its selection in this case. The decoction is 
boiled four times, as already explained, until it becomes a thick 
sirup. On each of the four days the patient drinks the liquid until 
he vomits, when no more is drunk untU next day. The medicine 
must not necessarily be prepared by the medicine man, but may be 

1 The patient. 





concocted and administered by members of the patient's household. 
The formula is recited by the medicine man, while rubbing the 
abdomen of the sick person. The rubbing is repeated four times 
before noon and for four days if required. 


u'a' ng'Vo't'i' Dalo-'nt-Ge-'"* ts-a*'ndfk'o'!a 

this to cure with yellow-ish it which, they urinate 

tsa"''ndfk'o*5-.i | 

it which they urinate (Hab) 

e*'ldi aGv^a\Q-'T)d 

low if has been cut off 


they (are) roots 


it hangs down 



it big 

a^Gi;*al9"'Da | Gl''gq 
it has been cut oS blood 

D8 2 Ge-SQ.i' I 

boUed it has been, Hab 

a'^k'alf'.i yrki 

it is full if it is 



w-a* .ts-0"' 

thither, it goes 
T L 

aGt* Da 

it has been 


successively, now 



e"'ldi a'Gi;'al9'''D8 

low it has been cut off 


it has them in it 

unAdi" fasti"' 

they must drink it 

v'Hlano'!i I sul= 

it has been in it squirrel, 

I tsi;"'waDu"'n8 

they have sinews, 





i;* na Su .Ga 
toes in the liquid(?) 

Ga-yo-'th u-'irtl9-'= 

a little it has been 

Ga-kt'9''D8 Go'lkwo-'Gi 

it restricted seven 

This is to Cure (Them) With, if What They Urinate is Yel- 


(A piece of) summer grape, cut off low down; a calycanthus tuber; 
dewberry roots, where it goes away (i. e., a runner); strawberry bush; 
(a piece of) northern foxgrape, cut off low down; (a piece of) ampelop- 
sis, cut off low down; loosestrife. It (all) should first be boiled a 
little, (then) they must drink it. There are restrictions, if the seven 
be complete. 


The symptoms of this disease are at first frequent and excessive 
urination, gradually decreasing in quantity, until it goes to the 
other extreme. According to the medicine man's statement, if the 
flow should stop, the patient dies. The remedy is to drink a decoction 
of the barks of the following plants: 

t'e-'lg-'ldi, Vitis aestivalis Michx., summer grape, pigeon grape; 
k'ane-'lska, Calycanthus fertilis Walt., calycanthus, bubby root; 
siilo'Makt'a', Rubus nigrobaccus Bailey (also Rubus mllosus Ait.), 
dewberry; tsf^waBu^'ne €*'gw5", Evonymus americanus L., strawberry 
bush; kwa^li'-'si, Vitis labrusca L., northern fox grape; i;''na'si;.'Ga, 

2W. D. form; C. D.-v-U'tsg-ca. 



[Bull. 99 

Ampelopsis cordata Michx.; and of the roots of Gt*'G9tsi;^*'ya''.i, 
Lysimachia quadrifolia L., loosestrife. 

The loosestrife, [as well as the different varieties of grape pre- 
scribed are often met with in recipes] to cure urinary ailments. 

No rubbing nor any ceremony accompanies the treatment. 

When all seven of the plants prescribed are used there is a taboo of 
salt, hot food, and of sexual intercourse, but when, as sometimes 
happens, less than seven are used, there is no regular taboo. 


(a) SGe" 
Now, then, 


thou art staying 

t'am'le-°.i' I 
put under 


to make him relinquish 
his grasps 

ctV a'nty9"ts€"'ni a'Da'no*'wo*tT | 

this their throat to cure anyone with 

t'e"Ga wo'^DtGe'"' n9''Do--yf'-Dza g'Dal-e'^GWO-H' 

Frog brown sun, Loc. direct lake, big, Loc. 

u'^siiny'li D0''t'a^le''9r)a' | u*1sG€"'d9 

quickly thou hast arisen, facing it important 

e't'stl Gese*".i' 
pain it is, App. 

I i;tsi'*nawa' 

beyond it, stretched 


now, L 

I Dvnv y - 

it which he (E.) 

tbou hast come 

aDO nt'Ga 

it has been said 


(b) SGe" I t'e^Ga sa^'k'o-ni' 

Now, then, Frog blue 

GwoSi' Dt'tsotlt'o't'sti (etc.). 

big, Loc thou art staying 

!iV a'ntyo'ts€''ni a'Da'n9"'wo*tT 

this their throat to cure anyone with 

tcisko''ya | DtDzo*'t'a.e-'tt-GWO^' I 

i;'"y9"Dzo"'-yf-'DZ8 9"Dal-e*^= 

cold, Loc, dir lake. 


10 i;''ntkwot'€'''n8 

it has down 

they are to be blown, L 

I tst'Dant'y9'tso*'t'tska' 

it which, their throats are swollen 

nQ*wo*t'i-N'5' tso''l-i.yi;"sti 

to cure with, and tobacco-like 

This is the Medicine For Their Throat 


(a) Now, then! Brown Frog, in the great lake in the direction of 
the Sun Land thou art staying. Quicldy thou hast arisen, facing us. 
It is Pain that has put the important thing under him. But now 
thou hast come and caused him to relinquish his grasp. Relief has 
been caused. Sharply! 

(6) Now, then! Blue Frog, in the great lake, in the direction of 
the Cold Land thou art staying (etc.). 

This is the medicine for their throat, when their throat is swollen 
on account of insects. They are to be blown. And to cure (them) 
with the tobaccolike (plant), (which) has down. 


This formula is for the cure of an ailment which, from the symptoms 
as described by medicine men, seems to be diphtheria. According to 

oIbhechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 255 

the theory, it is caused by the insect ghosts, which effect an entrance 
into the throat, where they multiply, causing the throat to swell and 
producing a choldng sensation. 

The curing spirit addressed is the t'e'oa', a small species of frog, 
which is represented as living in the great pond, and is expected to 
come and devour the mischievous wonns and insects, as is the habit 
of the frog. The medicine is a poultice of tso'^hyu'sti u'ntkw't'- 
€"'n9, Verhascum thapsus L., common mullein leaves, beaten up in 
warm water and applied to the throat with the hand of the medicine 
man, who recites the formula at the same tinie, blowing once at the 
end of each paragraph. The operation is repeated, thus making 
four blowings in all. 

While under treatment the patient is forbidden to eat the larvae of 
the yellow jacket or locust, both of which are roasted as food [and 
considered a great delicacy] by the Cherokee, or to taste honey, the 
reason being that both larvae and honey are derived from insects, 
and would consequently serve to aggravate the disease. Pumpkins, 
cymlings, tomatoes, and all other juicy fruits and vegetables must 
also be avoided, for the reason stated (p. 65), these same insects 
being held responsible for all kinds of boils, blisters, and similar 


!t'a' a'ntsko*'li a'Da'ng-'wo'tT 

this their head to cure anyone with 

sGe" I no*"Gwo"' *a't'or)a''nfGa' *t'skuya' tsAsti^'oa 

now, then! now thou hast come to listen thou man thou little 

DtGe'Mo.'se-^.i' I Vno'Gwo"' i;isG€-'DO° tVniGa'le'fGa' | 

thou penetratest ha! now it important thou hast come and 

them, App. pushed it away 

vtst'^nawa' ano^'m-Ga' | *ya' Ga^le'' | Ga^le^' | oa^le*' 

beyond it stretched it has been said Sharply! 

Ga^le" I 

This (for) Their Head (is) the Medicine 


Now, then! Now thou hast come to listen, thou Little Man, thou 
penetrator. Ha, now thou hast come to push away the important 
thing. Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

Galeh. (Four times.) 


This short formula for the cure of headache is addressed to the 
Little Man, [possibly] one of the Thunder Boys. The title of 
"penetrator" is frequently bestowed on a spirit invoked, and implies 
that he has the power of going irresistibly through all obstacles. 
7548°— 32 18 

256 Bureau of American ethnology [bull. 99 

[The final GaPle^' could not be satisfactorily explained either to jMr. 
Mooney or to me by any of the medicine men; the word may have 
some connection with Ga^le'iii', his ear.] 

No medicine is used. The medicine man recites the formida while 
warming his hands over the fire, after which he lays them upon the 
temples or the back of the neck of the patient, or wherever the pain 
is most acute. He ends by blowing four times at the words Ga^le". 
The ceremony is repeated four times. 

!iV i;ntye''lo*sk9*'[.i^] a'Da'nQ-'wo'tT 

this when they have become to cure anyone with 

like it 

SGe" I *a'-no-GWO^' *a't'9"r)a"'nfGa' u'Da'ti sa""k*o-ni' e-'hste"'- 

Now then! ha, now thou hast come to listen watersnake blue head of 

ni GfSQ-' Dttso'tlt'o'tsti' | ^Da-'^we't-Dfng' | *a'-no"Gwo'" 

streamlet it is, T L thou art staying thou (art a) wizard, E ha, now 

v'sonu-'li DO''t'a°le'or)a' | Go'u'sti tsunu"'lti m^GfSQ'na' | 

quickly thou hast arisen, facing us something thou failest never 

5 + + tsi;DD''tDa I nQ"'no-!i' Dayu"'tan9"o°'si' | i;"IsGe*'D9 

(such-and-such) his names are trail, Log it lies toward this direction it important 

't'Duny'y't*ani'le"°.i' i;Do-'lyVa\to°\ti' ntGe''so*na' | uye-'b'si"- 

it which he (E) has put under it its track to be refound never he has been 

lo!'t-GWO°' Ge*'sf.i' I aSGf'na Dy'DD''n5!i' Ge*'S€".i' | a°\e 
made like him, L it is, App ghost he (E) has said it it is, App and 

v'y-tGaWe-'sGi Di;'Da-N!t*e-'''io!i' yiki' I a^e' yQ-'wi De^'a^lu' 

difierent he speaks (Hab.) he (E) has thought it if it is and human being purple 

Du'Da*N!t'€""al5'i' yt'ki | *a'-no'Gwo'' 'o°'-t'a''seso'fGa' ulsGe*'- 

he has thought it if it is ha, now again, thou hast come it impor- 

to pull it out 

10 Da I usonu"'li de^t'u'tltVnfGa' | i;tst"-nawa' aDo'^nfca' | 

tant quickly thou hast come to put beyond it, stretched it has been said 

him on his legs 
1 v»/ 



This is the Medicine When They Have Become as Though 
(They Were Really III) 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Blue Watersnake, 
thou art staying at the head of the streamlet; thou powerful wizard! 
Ha, now thou hast arisen, facing us; thou never failest in anything. 
He is called so-and-so. The path lies toward our direction. He has 
put the important thing under him, its track never to be found. It 
has made him as though (he were really ill), it seems. It is a ghost 
that has caused it, it seems; or maybe it is a speaker of incantations 
that has caused it; or maybe it is the Purple Human Being that has 

' Emendation by editor. 




caused it. (Anyway), now thou hast come to pull out the important 
thing. Quickly thou hast come to put him on his feet. Belief has 
been caused. Sharply! 


This is another formula for the treatment of ay€''ltGO''Gi diseases. 
It is couched in such terms as if the reciter were in doubt as to who 
caused it: a ghost [a "speaker of different (i. e., evil) things," viz, 
an incantator, or by the Purple Person. The probable explanation 
is that all the possible causes are enumerated, so as not to take any 
chances; a process which is very common in conjurations the world 

The y'nati' or watersnake (Natinx sipedon) is regarded as an espe- 
cially crafty animal fit to combat the cunning of a secret enemy. 
The symptoms are described as sudden keen pains in the arm, the 
shoulder, etc., and shifting from one place to another. The pain is 
caused by the moving about of the object w^hich has been shot into 
the victim's body. (See p. 87.) 

The medicine used is a cold infusion of the bark of ttse'Ji, Alnus 
rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng., smooth alder; wnith this in his mouth, the 
medicine man sucks the different sore spots in turn, afterwards spit- 
ting the liquid into another bowl [so as to make possible the discovery 
of the intrusive object]. 

The formula is recited four times, the medicine man sucking after 
each recital; the whole ceremony is repeated four times before noon. 

There is no taboo. 


*t'a' tsu*'nastaGi)!i a'Da*n9''wo"tT 

this whenever their feet to cure them (indef.) 
are frostbitten with 

'eli'-yir 'eli-'-yu- 'elf'-yu- 'e!'i-yu' 

thou art living — E 

'ana'-!t-yu'' *ea"'yu' 'ea-'yu* *e!t-'yu" 

There thou art 
living— E 

*tDa''"W€!i' tsO''tdDzi' Gf'GaG6*'° 'e'i"'yu 

thou wizard mountain lion red thou art living, E 

't'Da-"we'!i tS0''tdDzi' Gf'GaGe-"' 'e'f'yu 't'f'y^l 

This, Whenever Their Feet are Frost Bitten, (is) the 



Thou art living, indeed. (Four times.) 

There thou art living, indeed. 

Thou art living indeed. (Three times.) 

Thou Wizard, red Mountain Lion, Thou art living indeed (bis), 



[Bull. 99 


This song, for the cure of frostbite, has a very pleasing tune, and is 
addressed to the mountain lion, which is supposed to have power over 
this ailment, because, according to the medicine men, its feet are 
never frostbitten. The red indicates its power. 

The treatment consists of the application of snow water to the 
frostbitten parts. The snow is first melted over the fire, and the 
water thus obtained is again warmed in a vessel into which the patient 
puts his feet. The medicine man now sings the song, after which he 
takes some snow or a small piece of ice in his mouth and sucks the 
affected part. 

The ceremony is repeated four times before noon. Snow is pre- 
ferred to ice for sucking. 


a'a' tSi;*^nastaGo!'i a'Da*nQ"'wO"tT 

this whenever their (feet) to cure anyone with 
are frostbitten 

(a) SGe" I ' 



grass, brown 

GeSQ'' Ga'^lnasun 

it is, T L I have come to 

(b) SGe" I 'a 



-no'Gwo^' *a't'Qr)a"'nfGa' tcf'stii 

ha, now thou hast come to listen Rabbit 

GeSQ"' tsu'Danu''yHtDe*G9"^ | 

it is, T L thou stayest under them, 

moving about 


put my toe under 


ha, now 

utst' '-n awa-G wo^' 

beyond it, stretched, L 

'a't'9i]a*'nfGa' tcr'stu 

thou hast come to listen Babbit 

(c) SGe" 



*a'-no*Gwo"' 'a^t^Qqa-^nt'Ga' tcf'stu 

ha, now thou hast come to listen Rabbit 

dfst dfst dt'st dt"st ^ya" 

(Onom.) Sharplyl 

WO*'Dt-Ge-'° I 

where it is wanned 


it has been said 

sa'k'o-ni' I 


o°"naGe-°' I 


This is the Medicine When Their Feet are Frost Bitten 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Brown Rabbit, 
thou art staying under the (sheltering) broom sedge, (and art there) 
moving about. I have come to put my feet under it where it is warm. 
Relief indeed has been caused. 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Blue Rabbit (etc.). 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Black Rabbit (etc.). 
(with at the end:) dist! dist! dist! dist! Sharply! 


This formula is intended to prevent frostbite as well as to cure it. 
It is addressed to the Rabbit, for the same reason as explained in 

oIbrechts] the SWIAIMER MANUSCRIPT 259 

No. 59, because this is one of the animals that is thought to be im- 
mune from frostbite. The Rabbit is represented as hiding under the 
warm k^ane-'skewo'^oi, Andropogon virginicus L., broom sedge, and 
the patient obtains rehef by putting his frozen foot under the same 
warm cover. 

The final "dist," repeated four times in a slow way, is intended to 
imitate the cry of the rabbit when startled. 

As a preventive, the formula is recited on starting from the house in 
winter, and [is believed to] enable one to walk barefoot on the snow 
without injury. 


*t'a' Di;nt"ala'Go!9"'[i^] Dt*'Da'n9Wo-tT 

this whenever their mouths are sore to cure people with 

sGe" I 'a'-no-GWo^' 'a't'oqa-'nfoa' 9-'N!Atsi' tsAstf'oa ] 

Now ha, now thou hast come to listen Snow thou little 


i;-''Dtle"Gt=GWo"' *i'Ge-se-'[.i^] u'lsGe-'oa 't'-Dunu-'y't'e*"' | y'sonw'li 

Heat, L that which is, App it important it which he has put under quickly 

t'a'DtGale*'^fGa' | vtSt''naW8Gw5"' ny'D9t'anQ*'D8 no°"t'Q'= 

thou hast come to beyond it stretched, L it has been said at the same time thou hast 

scatter it 

ne*'lfGa' | 'yS'*' 

come and Sharplyl 

done it for 

a'a' Di;-nt''al8'Go!9-'[.i^] Dt'oa^nQ-'wo'tT | "wane-'°GWo" 

this whenever their mouths are sore to cure people with (hickory) L 

Go°"t'3ti' DtDzo''t'tsto.'tt-Gw5"' | Ga-kt'Q''D8 no^^'ci' tsuso= 

it (is) to be used they must be blown with it, L it restricted four they 

with it nights 

*'tD8' u'^Dtle^Gi a*ma' a°Ie' t'u'ya' 

been hot salt and beans 

This is the Medicine When Their Mouths are Sore 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Little Snow. 
It is but Heat that has put the important thing under him.® Quickly 
thou hast come to scatter it. Relief has been caused forthwith, 
thou hast come to do it for him. Sharply! 

This is the medicine when their mouths are sore. Hickory (bark) 
is merely to be used for blowing them with. (Are) restricted (for) 
four days: Hot (food), salt, and beans. 


This formula is used for thrush in children and for a similar coating 
of the inside of the mouth in adults, no matter from what cause 
originating. According to the medicine men's theory, the disease is 

5 Emendation by editor. 6 The patient. 


caused by fever, personified under the name of y'Dtle'^Gi or Heat. In 
accordance with the theory, Little Snow is invoked to dislodge the 
disease. The medicine is the inner bark of the "wane-', Hicoria alba 
(L.) Britt., liickory, chewed by the medicine man, and blown by him 
into the mouth of the patient, after having recited the formula. He 
then blows his breath into the patient's mouth, the whole operation 
being repeated four times at each treatment, according to the regular 
practice. The patient can not chew the hickory bark for himself, 
but is sometimes given another medicine to chew in addition. 

The ceremony may be performed either in the morning or in the 
evening, or [if the seriousness of the complaint demands it], both. 
If in the morning, it is performed while the patient is stiU fasting. 
The medicine man, however, is not obliged to fast as in some cases. 

Hot food and salt are tabooed as usual, and also beans. The 
latter are prohibited in all fever diseases, because their skins some- 
times shrivel up as from an interior heat; [according to other medicine 
men], because they resemble boils, or because they are watery. The 
same reason probably accounts for the prohibition of beans and 
potatoes in a similar ailment of the throat, noted in No. 48. 


tcisko''ya ama-'-y-ane'U Dt'Da'nQ'Vo'tT !t'a' 

msect(s) water, Loc, they to cure people with this 

are living 

(a) sGe" I 'a'-no'Gwo^' u'sonu'"li 'a't'9r)a''ni"Ga' tsuh'sta- 

now then ha now quickly thou hast come to listen (cat-fish) 

nala' De^a^lu' a'm-aye"'li Dt'tsotlt'o'i'sti | 'a'\-tcsko"'ya' 

purple water, middle thou art staying ha, insect(s) 

a'ntDe"a^lu' Ge*Sf'[.i^] u*lsGe''D9 Di;'ntni;"'y't'ani'lf .i' | 'a'-no*- 
they yellow it is, App, it important they have put it under him, App ha, 

5 GWO"' i;'sonu*'li GeH*aDi'Gale*''yo"W^st'a'nfGa' | i;S'3"tD0^ 

now quickly thou hast come to scatter it as thou comest night, been 

ny'D8'no''na | utst^'-nawii-Gwo'' aDo'^nfoa' | ^a' 

it has not been said beyond it stretched, L it has been said Sharply 

(b) SGe" I *a'-no-Gwo"' u'sonu-'li 'a't^gija'^ni-Ga' o-'lfGa" 

now then ha, now quickly thou hast come to listen Red Horse 

wo"'DtGe-'i a^m-aye*'4i Dt'tsotlt*o*t'sttDe-Ga' | *a'\-tcsko-y8-Gwo"' 

brown water, middle thou art staying, moving about ha, insect(s), L 

a'ntWO"'DtGf '[i^l Ge-Sf'[i^] i;lsGe"'D8 'tDDnmyy't'am'lf.i' 'a'-no'- 

they brown it is, App it important it which they have put ha, 

under, App 

IOgwo"' u'sony'li (etc., as in a.) 

now quickly 

!t'a' tcsko-'yo° Dt'Da'ng-'wo't'i^ | a'myQ-^tse-'ni tsu'ntyQ'"- 

this insect(s) to cure people with their throat when their 

tso't'tska' Li-'nt*aSGf'Da yt'ki | a"a-Gw5°' tGa''.i' | 

throat swells it oozes out from them if it is this, L it (is) all 

7 Emendation by editgr. 


no-'wo't't-N'S' k'o-stu-'Da yiie-'oo u'tloo-Do^'skr tst'ki Go°"t'= 

to cure with, and (everlasting) white it scatters (Hab.) it which is it to be 

oti I DtDzo-t'a.e-tt-GWo"^' | ye-lt-'ca Gakt'9"'Da I so^kt'a' 

used it must be blown on them, L much it restricted apple(s) 


kwano"' nu-no°' t^v'ya--Nlq^ Oa-Du' na/sGwo"^ k'o-'N*t Ge's^-' 

peach(es) potato(es) bean (s), and bread also noticeable itis, T. L 

i;-'wa-Tisy!'i \ je'li' 't'^lo^' t'Go^-'Da i;-'niilsta-'y'ti' nfGe-'so-na' 

it is done possible somewhere as long as for them to eat never 

This is the Medicine for the Insects Living in the Y/ater 


Now then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Purple Blue- 
Catfish, in the middle of the water thoa art staying. 

Ha, it is the purple insects that have put the important thing 
under him.^ But now thou hast quickly come and hast caused them 
to scatter, (and) not for one night (only, but forever). Relief has 
been caused. Sharply! 

Now then! Ha, now thou hast quickly come to hear. Brown 
Red -Horse, thou wizard, in the middle of the water thou art stajdng, 
moving about. 

Ha, it is the brown insects that have put the important thing under 
him.^ But now thou hast quickly come (etc.). 

This is the medicine for insects, when their throat swells and if 
(pus) oozes out from the (swellings). This now is all, namely, the 
medicine is the common everlasting (from which) white dust scatters 
itself; they are merely to be blown ^^dth it. There are considerable 
restrictions: apples, peaches, potatoes, beans besides (all this); also 
bread that has been cooked in plain (sight). They should not eat 
any of these as long as (they can) possibly (abstain from them). 


This is a formula for the cure of a disease which is described as a 
clogging up of the throat passages so as to seriously interfere with 
breathing and utterance, and which seems to be diphtheria or some 
similar ailment. 

The formula was carelessly written in the original and hence the 
two paragraphs do not correspond as closely as they should. 

The disease is ascribed to the tcsko''ya ghosts, which "form a 
settlement" under the mem^brane of the throat as explained in No. 
56. In this particular case they are stated to be water insects, and 
the large fish which prey upon these animals are called from the 
great water to come and disperse them. The fish named are locally 
known as the blue catfish and the red horse. 

8 The patient. 


The medicine is a warm decoction of k'o'sty*'D9 une-'ca 
u'tlGO'Do°'ski, Gnaphalium ohtusijolium L., common everlasting, the 
liquid being blown down the throat of the patient by means of a tube 
made from the stalk of ocmaDt"to.ti'' u*t*8no°\ Ewpatorium purpureum 
L., Joe-pye-weed, trmnpet weed. 

The medicine man recites the first paragraph, and then blows the 
liquid in this manner, after which he blows his breath through the 
tube in the same way. The operation is repeated at the end of 
the second paragraph, and the whole ceremony is repeated twice, so 
as to make up four applications of the medicine. [As usual,] the treat- 
ment is repeated four times before noon, and for four consecutive 

The taboo includes apples and peaches, [because, some medicine 
men say their watery and juicy nature shows that they are of the same 
nature as boils and watery blisters, and would therefore only aggravate 
the complaint; others hold that they are forbidden, as well as the 
dumplings (see below), because their shape is like that of the malig- 
nant swellings that are to be cured. The reason for the prohibition 
of beans and potatoes is evident from the explanation given in No. 56, 
page 254, which deals with a similar illness in the mouth. 

"The bread which has been made visibly" is the name the Cherokee 
give to a peculiar kind of dumplings they make ; unlike their common 
corn bread, which is baked under the ashes of the hearth, and is 
therefore not "visible" while it is being done, these dumplings, 
made out of com meal and beans, are cooked in an uncovered vessel, 
i. e., "visibly."] 

!i'a' Dvnt'^'yvGwu'ttSG9''[.i' ^] a^Da*n9*wo't'i' 

this whenever their teeth ache to cure anyone with 

sGe" I no-'cwo" 'aH'or)a''nt*Ga' su'lo''"li tsu'ne-'Go ng-no-'-yi 

Now, then! now thou hast come to listen Squirrel thou white sun, Loc. 

Dt'tsotlt'o't'sti I i;^s5nu*'li DO'"'t'a»le'*or)a' | vlsGe^'na €"tsti' 

thou art staying quickly thou hast arisen, facing us it important pain 

Di;wa-'"wsunD"'y't*ant'le"°i' I tsotlsta''y*ti-Gwo^' 'tG€*'se'°.i' | 

he has come to put it inside, from the it is what thou eatest, L it which is, App. 

bottom up 

5 asGf'no f'Do'no'H | aGt'sti D"yu'kt^ano'*t-Gwo^' Ge"'sf .i' | 

ghost it has been said food (solid) it has been changed, L it is, App. 

*t"y5'''''st*anfGa' i^'sonw'li ulst''Gtn€''f-DZ8' De'o'^'lu'G-Q'' i*y9*'D8 

thou hast come to take it quickly dark direction they moss TL yonder 

away as thou goest by 

*i'skwaniGo*'t'ant"Ga' | iGp'Volsto.'tt-Gwu'-Dfna' | 'y^" gu*' 

thou hast gone to store it up who cares what happens to it L. (=E), E Sharply (Onom.) 

GU-' GU-' GU-' 

' Emendation by editor. 


This is the Medicine When Their Teeth Ache 


Now, then! Now thou hast come to listen, thou White Squirrel, 
thou art staying in the Sun Land. Quickly thou hast arisen, facing 
us. The important thing has put Pain into (the tooth) from the 
bottom up, and all around it, it seems. It is the very thing thou 

What has become a ghost, has merely changed the food. (But 
now) thou hast ciuickly come to take it away in the direction of the 
dark mountain slope. Over yonder, where moss grows, thou hast 
gone to store it away. Who cares what happens to it! Sharply. 

Gu, gu, gu, gu. 


The toothache theory as shown in this formula is that a ghost 
transmutes the particles of food lodged about the teeth into tcsko-'ya 
or worms, which burrow into the tooth, and thus cause the pain. The 
theory, as will be noticed, is not so very far wrong. 

The disease is represented as penetrating into the tooth from 
underneath and as completely surrounding it with pain. The cure 
is effected through the agency of the squirrel, which pulls out the 
intruder, and takes it to the dark (i. e., north) side of the mountain, 
where, in accordance with the habits of the squirrel, it hides it away 
in a moss-covered (hollow) log. 

In performing the ceremony the medicine man spits into his left 
palm and rubs his right thumb upon it while reciting the formula. 
He then holds his thumb a moment over the fire, after which he presses 
it firmly upon the jaw of the sufferer over the aching tooth, repeating 
at the same time the final "gu!" four times in succession. This is 
intended to represent the cry of the squirrel when alarmed. The 
operation is repeated several times, there being no strict rule as to 
the number in ailments of this temporary character. 


a''ntne*Dzi*'.-i' yi;ne''tsta,'^ne!a' a''Da'n9*'wo"t*i^ | 

their breast, Loc. if they have aching to cure anyone with 

sGe" I no''Gwo" 'a't'^ija'^nfoa' Galg'ldi Dttso'tlt'o'tsti' 

Now, then! now thou hast come to listen above thou art staying 

*t'skliya' Gt*'GaGe-'° I 'iDa-'^We'i' | DtGe''Jo\S€!i' | aSGf'lia 
thou man red thou wizard thou penetratest them, ghost 

fDo^'nOci' u'Dtle'^Gt-Gwo^^ Ge*'sf.i' I no''GWo'^ y'sony'li u1sG€''d9 

he has said Heat L it is, App. now quickly it important 

t'a'DtGo'tlt'aniGa' | *tDa*'"We!t-'Dt'n8' i''s5nu''li De^t'u'tlt'antGa' I 
thou hast come to push it thou wizard, E quickly thou hast come to put 

away him on his (legs) 


vtst''-na\v9-Gw5°' aDo'^Tifoa' | uso^tDa' m;"^D9t'an9''''D8 

beyond it, stretched, L it has been said night been it has not been said 

no°"t'9"n€-''lfGa' + + tsuDo-'iDa 

thou hast come to do it (such-and-such) his names are 
for him 

This Is the Medicine When Their Breast Aches 


Now then! Now thou hast come to listen, thou (who) art staying 
on high, Red Man, thou Wizard, thou Penetrator! 

What has become a ghost is merely Heat. Now thou hast quickly 
come and pushed the important thing away. Thou powerful wizard, 
quickly hast thou made him get up. ReUef has been caused, (and) 
not for one night (only, but forever). Thou hast come to make it so 
for him.^° He ^° is called so-and-so. 


[This formula is for the same purpose as No. 24, page 201. 

The cause, medicine used, application, and treatment are likewise 
identical. It appears from Mr. Mooney's notes that this formula 
was very carelessly written in the original and that he reconstructed 
it. It is not possible to state exactly in how far the emendations are 
Mr. Mooney's.] 


ut'a' v^ndtyQ'Dali' Df'Da'n9''wo*tT 

this their navel to cure people with 

sGe" I *a*uso!f"' a*''m-e'Gwo''i nitso'tlt'o'tsti' tso"'"st3wa' 

now then! Ha Night, Loc water, big, Loc thou art staying killdee bird 

5 Dalo''ni | *a'-no*GWO'' DO'H'a^le'Qria' | Dalo"'ni Ge'S-Q-' De'a'S€= 

yellow ha, now thou hast arisen, facing us yellow it is, T L thou hast 

DO"'sfGa' I v'sonu'li i;tst"-nawa' no'^DtsGe'sti' ^ya" 

come to fan it quickly beyond it, stretched it will be said con- sharply 


SGe" I *a'-no*GWO°' i;SO-!f' a"'m-eGwo'H Dttso'tlt'o'tsti' 

Now then ha, now Night, Loc water, big, Loc thou art staying 

no''GwuD6"' D0''t'a^le'9i]a' I Go'y'sti tsiinu-'lti nt^Ge-sg-'na | 

now, E thou hast arisen, something thou failest never 

facing us 

*tDa''"WeI;i' I Dalo''ni Ge'S^*' aye^'li De^a'siDO'^SfGa' I Dalo''ni 
thou wizard yellow it is, T L middle thou hast come to fan it yellow 

10 Ges9*' t*u'tiko*'t't'ant'Gp/ | utst^'-nawa^ aDo'^ntca'' 

it is, T L thou hast come to scatter it beyond it, stretched it has been said 

This Is the Medicine for Their Navel 


Now, then! Ha, in the Great Water in the Night Land thou art 
staying, Yellow Killdee Bird. Now thou bast arisen, facing us. 
Where the Yellow is, thou liast come to fan it away with thy two 
(wings). Relief will forthwith and continuously be caused. Sharply! 

10 The patient. 





Now, then! Ha now, in the Great Water, in the Night Land thou art 
staying; (thou art staying) where the foam is piled high, thou Yellow 
Killdee Bird. Right now thou hast arisen, facing us. Thou never 
failest in anything, thou wizard. Where the Yellow is, thou hast 
come to fan in its very center with thy two (wings); where the 
Yellow is, thou hast come to scatter it. Relief has been caused! 


This is another formula for a mild form of navel Dalo*''ni. The 
medicine consists of a warm infusion of the bruised bark of tsf't'tna"', 
Carpinus caroliniana Walt., American hornbeam, blue beech, water 
beech, ironwood, which is drunlt by the patient after the medicine 
man has recited the formula. There are usually four apphcations, 
the effect usually being to reheve the patient without vomiting or 
purging. In preparing the medicine the medicine man bruises the 
bark with a stone or club before stripping it from the tree, and then 
putting the bark into a vessel of cold water dipped from the stream, 
returns to the house and warms the liquid over the fire. 



uow then 


thou art staying 


thou hast arisen, 
facing us 


different, he speaks 



!t'a' yne''tsta'ne"h'Do'6"'[.i^^] a'Da'n^-'wo'tT 

this whenever they have pain to cure anyone with 

In different places 

'a'-no^Gwo"' *a't'9*r)a"'nfGa' tsfya' sa*k*o*ni' a*'m-€*Gwo'-H 

ha, now thou has come to listen Otter blue water, big, Loc 

I GaoS' tsimi;"'lti ntGe-'so'na'' \ *a^-no*Gwo'^' 

what? thou failist never ha, now 

u'stf'k^'-Gwu-Dfna' u-lsGe'^DO u'Danu-'y'it'ant'le'.i' | 

very little, L (=E), E it important he has put himself under 

him, App 

yt'ki I ^a-no-GWo'' 'o^'t'mu-'y^Dest-Ga' sa'k'o*'= 

if it is ha, now again thou hast come and taken blue 

it away from under him 


stretched, L 

now then 


it will be said con- 


it will be said con- 


ha, now 

I U SO -tD8 

night, been 



thou hast come to 

nv Da UQ* na 

it has not been said 


big, Loc 


ha, now 

tf.l' I 

himself under 

him, App 


it has been said 

Dt'tsotlt^o't'sti I 

thou art staying 


thou has arisen, 
facing us 


ha, now 

Go'u Stl 





thou failest 


thou white 


beyond it. 

a' m-e'" 


ntG€' SQ'na 



very Uttle, E 

ulsGe^'og i;^Danu-''y*= 10 

it important he has put 

again, thou hast come 
to pull it out 

beyond it, stretched, L 



" Emendation by editor. 



[Bull. 99 


now then 


ha, now 

thou hast come to 



Galg-'ldi tso'tlt'o't'sti | u'sonv''li Do-'t'a°le''oqa' 

above thou art staj'ing quickly thou hast arisen, 

facing us 

ylsG€"'D8 u'Danu*'y't'ant'lf .i' | i;-'y-tGa\V€"'sGi yi'ki 

it important he has put himself under different, he speaks, if it is 



now then 

him, App 


again, thou hast come 
to pull it out 

I 'a'-nO"GWO"' 

ha, now 


utst^-nawu-Gwo'' aDo^'iifGa'' 

beyond it, stretched, L it has been said 

'5'-*a't'9"i]a-'nfGa' tsotb"' 

again, thou hast come to Kingfisher 





very little 




thou white 

water, edge, T. L 


thou art staying 

tDa' "We t- Dt'na 

thou wizard, E 

Dv'Da-N!t'€"alo!i yt'ki 

he has though it, App if it is 






aDo nfGa 

it has been said 



whenever they have pain 
in different places 


again, thou hast come to 
pull it out 


to cure anyone with 

10 stane*'ltDa/stt-GWO" 

V' y-tGaWe* SGI 

different, he speaks 


beyond it stretched. 


they must 
be hit for 
them, L 

This is the Medicine when They have Pains (Shifting) About 


Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to hsten, Bhie Otter; in 
the Great Water thou art staying. What dost thou ever fail in? 
Now, thou hast arisen, facing us. Just a very small quantity of the 
important thing has come to put itself under him.^^ Maybe a 
speaker of incantations (has caused it). Now thou hast come to 
take it away from under him; ^^ blue indeed it will become (and 
remain) not for one night (only, but forever). ReHef will be caused 
continuously. Sharply! 

Now, then! Ha, thou hast come to listen, thou White Minlc; in 
the Great Water thou art staying. Thou never failest in anything. 
Ha, now thou hast arisen, facing us. Just a small quantity of the 
important thing has come to put itself under him.^^ Ha, now thou 
hast come to pull it out. Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen. Blue Fish Hawk; 
on high thou art stajdng. Quickly thou hast arisen, facing us. Just 
a small quantity of the important thing has come to put itself under 
him.^^ Perhaps a speaker of incantations (has caused it). But this 
very moment thou hast come and pulled it out. Relief has been 
caused. Sharply! 

12 Emendation by editor. 

12 The patient. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 267 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast finally come to listen, thou White 
Kingfisher; near the edge of the water thou art staying; thou power- 
ful wizard! Perhaps a speaker of incantations has caused it; now 
thou hast come and pulled it out. Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

This is the medicine whenever they have pains (shifting) about. 
They should be rubbed in different places. 


This formula is for the same purpose as No. 44, page 235. 

According to an expression repeated in every paragraph, the 
sickness seems in this case to be caused by the [incantations of a] 
witch, who maybe has, by magical means, shot some invisible 
sharpened stick, a pebble, or some similar small object into the 
body of the victim. The pain shifts about as the intrusive object 
moves from place to place. The ailment is probably connected with 
rheumatism or pleurisy. 

The animals invoked to pull out the disease are all of the class 
designated in the fomiulas as "penetrators," from their manner of 
seizing and holding their prey, or sucking its Ufe blood. The weasel 
and the leech are put into the same category. The otter seems 
to be regarded as the chief of these, on account of its diving ("pene- 
trating") abilities, combined with its extreme bloodthirstiness and 
its real or fancied cunning. The ''penetrators" are commonly 
invoked in aye"'hGO''Gi or witchcraft diseases, to pull out the intrusive 
object which has been shot into the body of the patient. 

The treatment consists of simply pressing the sore spot with 
the warm hand or thumb, according to the size of the place. The 
medicine man recites the first paragraph while warming his [right] 
thumb over the fire, occasionally rubbing it in the palm of his left 
hand, after which he presses it gently upon the seat of pain. The 
same ceremony is repeated with the other paragraphs, the medicine 
man eventually following up the pain as it moves about from place to 
place, until, according to the theory, he finally chases "the important 
thing" out of the body. 


!t'a' Du'^natso'walo*'ne*9*'[.i '^] a^Da'no*'wo*tT 

this wheiiiver they have it to cure anyone 

along both sides with 

SGe" I no"'Gw5'' 'a't'oqa-'nfGa' yp'Vi o°"naGe'°' y*so'i;!t 

Now, then, now thou hast come human black Night 

to Usten being 

tso'tlt'o't'sti I ulsGe-'oa i^'sanv'li Dotsv'k'nf'^.i | f'na 

thou art staying it important quickly he arose from there, far 

facing us, App. 

G9"le'!i Dt'Di;'n€''DZ8 u'lsGe'Da 
he standing he has spoken it important 


" Emendation by editor. 




(a) SGe" 
Now, then! 



you two red 

ha, now 

I SpDy-'li 
(Place name) 


you two have come 
to listen 


you two men 

DfGt GaGe- ° 

they red 


have made him 
get on his (legs) 

5 tsta"'Da.uGa' 

have thrown him 
over there 


they have become bundled 

I t'i'staDt'Galo*f'Ga 

you two have pushed him 


he to look back 

ty9*'Da wtDe'stoy'a'naor | 

yonder you two lead him by 

the hands toward 


you two handle roughly, E 

I tcm9*'K G€*s-o-' 

yard it is, T L 

you two 



you two 

you two 



who cares what happens 
to thee, L 

(6) Change tctn^-'li gcsq* 

(c) Change to sD.i' 


((/) Change to a"'m-e'GWo-'!i 

water, big, L 

to nuIlQ-^Datl-O''' ^^ 
as far as hill, T L 


they have thrown thee 

over there 

uDZf DZQ.e" 
yon side 

nunp' Das-o" [.ij ^" tyo'Da 

as far as hill, T L yonder 

sk'o''nB° tyo''Da 

beyond yonder 

This is the Medicine When They Have it Along Both Sides 


Now, then! Now thou hast come to Usten, Black Human Being 
thou art staying in the Night Land. The important thing has 
quickly arisen from there, facing us. From yonder where he stood 
the important thing has spoken (i, e., incantated the patient). 

(a) Now, then! Ha, now you two have come to hsten, you Two 
Little Red Men; you two lead him by the hands to faraway so'Du'li. 
You two (thrash) him roughly with the bundled red switches; you 
have made him get up; you have thrown him out into the yard, he 
never to look back again ; over there you have thrown him ; who cares 
what happens to him! 

(b) Change "out into the yard" to "beyond yonder hill." 

(c) Change "out into the yard" to "beyond yonder further hill." 
{d) Change "out into the yard" to "beyond yonder great Avater." 


This is to treat what is described as a very painful ailment, akin to 
rheumatism, in which the pains dart from the base of the spine 
around the hips to the front, and up the breast in parallel lines. The 
pain is also sometimes accompanied by a swelling of the parts most 

The treatment consists of a simple rubbing with the warm hands. 
The medicine man recites the formula during the rubbing, and blows 

" W. D. form; C. D. nviiQ-Dasg (cf. § c). 

18 Emendation by editor. 




his breath four times upon the body at the end of each paragraph. 
The rubbing at first is easy on account of the soreness of tJie patient, 
but the medicine man gradually increases the pressure of his hands. 

The first or preliminary statement of each paragraph serves the 
purpose of an introduction conveying information as to the cause of 
the ailment, the whereabouts and the origin of the disease causer. 
(See p. 159.) 

The second part of each paragraph calls upon the Two Little Red 
Men, the Thunder Boys, to cast out the disease. Here again we find 
the regular four stages in the cure: In the first the Red Men with the 
red switches chase out the intruder and drive him out into the yard; 
in the next they drive him across the mountain ridge; in the third 
they pursue him across the other ridge; and in the fourth they throw 
him beyond the great lake (in the west?), where all disease is banned. 

s9*Di;''li is a place name, probably somewhere in no'Do*'yi, the abode 
of the Thunder Boys, but the meaning of it has now been lost. 

!i'a' a'ntne"'Dzi une^'ista'^ne'^*' a^Da^np^'wo'tT 

this their breast whenever it aches to them to cure anyone with 

SG?" I SO^'Gi' 'a-ai' " 'a-GL-'GaGe-"" 
now, then Mink ha, ha, red 

SO°'Gi' 'aci' *aGf'GaGe-°' 
u-1sg€-'d9 'tGi' ^^ ^Ga' 

it important take it eat it 

so°'Gi' *a-Gt-'GaG6*' *tDa*'"w€!i' y'sonv'li 5 

Mink ha, red thou wizard quickly 

i;tst"-nawa' aDo''nf-Ga' | ^jsi"^ 

beyond it, stretched it has been said Sharplyl 

sGe" I no-GWo''' 'a't'oija-'nfGa' tsfya' 'iGf^GaOf'' *tDa"'"= 

now, then now thou hast come to listen Otter thou red thou 

we!i' I ulsGe-'na 't'-Dunu''y't'ani.'h'.i' a'sGf'n-u'Do'no'Ji ^Ge-sf' | 

wizard it important it which, he has put under, App. ghost, it has been said it which, App. 

i;"lsGe''D9 'i,'Duni;''yH'ant'lf.i' uD0''li;*wa\t5°\ti' ntGe'^soma' | 

it important it which he has put imder, App. to be found never 

SGe" I no-Gwo'3' 'a't'^-qa-'nfGa' tst-ya' tsA'ska'se'ti' 10 

now, thenl now thou hast come to listen Otter thou frightful 

DtGe"alo''s€!i' I i;-lsGe"'D9 De'^t'o'tlt'am'Ga' | utst^-UaWa' 

thou penetratest them it important thou hast put him on his (legs) beyond it stretched 

aDo^'nfGa' uso"-tD9' ni;"'Da*n9*'na | i;tst"-nawu-Gwo"' aDo*^nfGa' 

it has been said night, been it has not been said beyond it, stretched, L. (=E.) it has been said 


SGe" I tcf'ste" Dalo*''ni *tDa"'"W€!i' i;'sonv*'li nO"no' DO"'- 

now, then rat yellow thou wizard quickly trail(s) thou 

Datsuna''"Wati' | ulsGe^'Da a'sGi"'n-i;*Do''n5ri *tGe"'se'.i' | 15 

hast them lying it important ghost, it has bean said it which is, App. 

stretched toward us 

" Abbreviation of following word. 

^ Emendation by editor; instead of 'aGi=he takes it. 


*a'-no-Gwo'' Dr't'o'tltVnfGa' | ntG9-'way€-'l9nQ-"o°'sGe'^stt' 

ha, now thou hast put him on his (legs) a likeness of it has been left 

tsa'los9''.i I utst"-nawu-Gwo^' aDo'*nfGa' I 'ya* 

thou has passed, T. L. beyond it, stretched, L. it has been said Sharply 

sGe" I noGWo'^' *a't'9-r)a-'nfGa' ttauu-'si ^^ sa*k'o-'ni *iDa-'"- 

now, then now thou hast come to Leech blue thou 


We!i' I i;-lsGe''D8 a'sGf'n-u'DO*'no''i *tG€"'s€*.i' | u'^Dtle^Gi 

wizard it important ghost, it has been said it which is, App. Heat 

5*iDi'-'kso'o°"tf.i' I u'sonf'li t'a-'seso'fGa' | mG9"'waye"'lan9*"- 

he has let it down, App. quickly thou has come to a likeness of it 

pull it out 

5°'sG€*'stt-Gwo^^ I vtst^'-Tiawa' aDJ)''m'Ga' | *ya* 

will remain, L. beyond it stretched it has been said Sharply 

This is the Medicine Whenever Their Breast Aches 


Now, then! Mink, ha, red (one). 
Mink, ha, red (one). 
Take the important thing and eat it. 

Mink, ha, red (one), thou wizard, quickly relief has been caused 
Sharply ! 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Red Otter, thou 
wizard. It is what has become a ghost that has put the important 
thing under him.^° He has put the important thing under him,^° that 
it might never be found again. 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou terrible Otter, 
thou penetrator. Thou hast come to make the important thing get 
up (from under the patient). Relief has been caused (and) not for 
one night (only, but forever.) Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

Now, then! (Ha, now thou hast come to listen). Weasel, thou 
wizard, quickly thou hast thy paths stretched out in our direction. 
The important thing is merely what has become a ghost. Ha, now 
thou hast come to make it get up. A mere likeness of it will only 
remain where thou hast passed. Relief has been caused at the same 
time. Sharply! 

Now, then! Now thou hast come to listen, Blue Leech, thou 
wizard. The important thing is merely what has become a ghost; it 
let Heat down, it seems. Quickly thou hast come and pulled it out. 
A mere likeness of it will remain. Relief has been caused. Sharply! 


This peculiar formida, the initial paragraph of which is sung, is for 
treating pains in the breast, which are due, according to the formula 
itself, to Heat having been let down by a ghost. 

The Mink, the "yellow rat" or Weasel, and the Leech are invoked, 
on account of their sucking powers, to pull out the disease. The 

IB W. E. form; C. D., tsonu-'si. 20 The patient. 

Olbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 271 

Otter, here, as often, styled a "penetrator," is probably classed with 
the mink and the weasel on account of its general resemblance to 
them in form, and in the wariness of its movements, which causes 
it to be regarded by the Indians as an especially subtle animal. 

Another medicine man used for the same purpose a similar formula 
addressed to the mink, the w^easel, the otter, and the kingfisher, the 
latter of which is also regarded as a "penetrator" on account of its 
long, strong bill. This medicine man was of the opinion that the 
disease was caused by hostile conjurers. 

The treatment consists of a simple application of the hands, pre- 
viously w^anned over the fire. The medicine man stands up, and spits 
in his hands at "sGe"" then rubs them together while chanting the 
first verse. Then, stooping down, he w^arms his hands over the fire 
and lays them upon the breast of the patient, drawing them down- 
ward with a steady pressure. He then blows his breath over the 
aching part once. The same ceremony is repeated with each of the 
four paragraphs. 

In some cases, instead of applying the hands, the medicine man 
blows warm water four times upon the head and breast of the patient 
after each verse, the water being w^amied by means of four or seven 
live coals dropped into it, as described. 

Ge*'tsiyo-wlo!t Dt'k'an^-'w^o't'f'-yi I 

when they have to cure them with, E 

been shot 

*iV Dt'k'ano-°Gt"'Da-Gw5°' tsa'^le-'nt^a' iGO'yi' | 

this they have been sung, L where it begins first 

Gicya' (4 fiwes) no°"3Ao-!'i aj^e^'li Gu-ya' Gu-ya' 

rock(s) Loc middle 

Gu"ya' (3 times) Gai>o-'li aye^'li Gu'ya' Gvjaf Gu'ya' 

earth, Loc middle 

Gvjaf (3 times) aDo-!'i ay e"'li Gy'ya' Gvjaf Gvyaf 5 

wood(s), Loc middle 

Gu'ya' (3 times) ama"'-yi aye'''li Gvya' Gwya' Gwya' 

water, Loc middle 

*i"a-N!D'' no*'Gwo' k'a'n3'e-'Dt--yi' 

this, and now it has been told, E 

sGe" I 'a-'GalQ-'lgni' aye'^lf'-yu' tso'tlt'o'ts'ti' 

now, then! ha, above middle (E) thou art staying 

Gfth' wo-'DtGe-.i' I V-'no-Gw-o'^' nouo-'i' 'tkso-"o°'t'a'nfGa' | 

dog brown ha, now path(s), Loc thou hast come to let it 


Gf'GO° G^-W^a-'^wani' Ge'sg-' aye"*li De^'tDO.'^SfGa' I no-Gwo^ 10 
blood it is spouting it is, T L. middle thou hast come to halt now 


7548°— 32 19 


tSa*'"WaDZf'l8 aDo'ni'Ga' | utst"-nawa' ny'DQt'ano-'Da | SGe" 
thy saliva it has been said beyond it, stretched it has been said now then 


G€"'tstyo*wlo'!i Dt'k'ano''wo*t'i''-5T.' | su''li u"'GfDu'tH Ga"'s9- 

when they have been shot to cure them with, E buzzard feather it cut ofl at 

Gf'D8 aDZOt"aStO.'tr I "Wa*nf'-*GWU-°N!?' a'N'o-skot'lti | 

ends to blow him with hickory, L, and to have it (sol) in 

the mouth 

no-'Gwo-Nc^' Ga°m' uwa-'N^J-Q-'.i atc'f'la u'Wa^'no"' i;-'GtDu'tH 

now, and bullet it has hit T L down soft feather 

Ssv'li Ga-'yil9-'-D8 | Ga-kt'o-'DQ'-ya' tso-'la n5°'Gi' tsus3"-iD9' 

buzzard plastered it restricted E tobacco four nights, been 

i^"'nda'n9Wt''ski na/sGwo'^-N'^' a'k'anp'wt'ski' t'Go'r'Da 

they cure them (indef.) also, and he is being cured (Hab) this as long as 


i;'r)t3^o"tstr | a^'ma-N!?" na/sGwo"^ no°"Gi vGa-'nowa" 

they must salt, and also four warm 

abstain from 

na.'sGwo" no°"Gi tsu'so^-tDa vyo^'istr Ge-'tstyo'wlo'a-GWo"' 

also four nights, been he must abstain they have been shot, L 


"wa/so° I na.'yo'Go'" su-'UnJ^' yt'kVnf'G9'r)a' Df'tlasteGf'sta- 

by himself however buzzard, and if there is none (Gerardia) 

IQGWo"' i;*'sQ"°D0-'n8 aDzo-'t'asto.'tr 

L hollow to blow with 

To Cure Them with, When They Have Been Shot 


This, in the begiDning, has to be sung: 

Gu'ya' (4 times) , in the middle of the rocks Gvya', Gu'ya'. 
Gu'ya' (3 times), in the middle of the earth Gu'ya (3 times). 
Gvya' (3 times), in the middle of the woods Gu'ya (3 times). 
Qv'ya/ (3 times), in the middle of the water Gu'ya (3 times). 

And this now has to be recited: Now, then! Ha, on high, in the 
center thou art staying. Brown Dog. Ha, now, thou hast come to let 
thy path down. Thou hast come to halt in the middle of the spot 
where the blood is spouting. Now, it has become thy saliva. ReHef 
has been caused forthwith. Now, then! 

To cure them with when they have been shot. A buzzard feather 
cut off at both ends (should be used) to blow with. And hickory 
(bark) should be chewed. Where the bullet has hit him,^^ down and 
soft feathers of the buzzard should be plastered. Rigorously re- 
stricted are: Tobacco during four days; (both) they who cure and also 
they who are being cured should abstain from it for a considerable 
time; and from salt also (during) four (days); and from warm (food) 
he ^^ must also abstain for four days (this latter restriction referring 
only to) those who have been shot. Should no buzzard feather be 
available, the hollow Gerardia is (to be used) to blow them. 

21 The patient. 



[This is another of the Ut. formulas, so that the explanation must 
be gathered from the text itself.] 

It is for the cure of wounds made by a bullet or arrow, both being 
called by the same word, and the appUcation consists of the inner 
bark of "wdnf ', Hicoria alba (L.) Britt., hickory, chewed and blown 
through a buzzard quill, or the hollow stalk of a species of Gerardia. 
The directions specify that both the medicine man and the patient 
must abstain from tobacco for four days ["because the juice of 
chewing tobacco irritates wounds"]. 

The song of four verses at the beginning is an invocation of the 
spirits of the rocks, the earth, the forest, and the water, and is sung 
by the medicine man prior to blowing the hickory juice on the 
wound. The part addressing the brown dog is recited after the 
medicine man has blown the chewed bark into the wound. The 
expressions are somewhat obscure, but the purpose seems to be 
for the dog to lick up the blood as it flows from the wound. The 
buzzard, as stated elsewhere, is held to have a mysterious power 
over disease. 

The treatment here prescribed is that usually followed in cases 
of bullet wounds, especially where the bullet remains in the wound. 
The application has no very pronounced effect, but acts rather as 
an emollient and sedative. 

The word Ga°ni' originally meant arrow, but by a natural evolution 
has now come to signify bullet and lead, just as the original word 
for bow, k'alo'Gwe', now means also gun and rifle. 

The whole formula is carefuUy written out, as is usually the case 
with the Ut. manuscripts. 


'tV tsunstf'oa DtDo'tlt^aDf'nonaN^tt'-jd' 

this they are little to make them jump down for 

them, E 

sGe" I *tskuya' ts^Astr'aa *a'-no-'Gwo" Do-'t'a^le'g-qa' kt'lu- 

Now thou man thou little ha, now arise, facing us then, 


Gw5°' I fyo-'ne a'Gaygk-'nasi' na'ya'.i' | e"ska''N!i*-yu' i;naye''tsti' 

L yonder the old one, E (?) she is coming close by, E they fearful 

this way (things) 

no-Dayi;'Do'8'nti' | sGe" | nmo'lt'oGt' tle-'kf-yu'^^ | 

she does as she comes Now let thou and I run rightaway, E 

this way then 

tsu'Dzesto*'Gi w't'na'Gi' | *ya' 

"lee to lie on take 


W. D. -ts-; C. D. 

for thee to lie on take it over Sharply 



SGe" I 'iGa^'ya ts*Astt-'Ga *a'-no-GWo'' DO-'t'a^le'Qrja' 

Now thou woman thou little ha, Now arise, facing us 


(etc., hut change a^cay^lt-'nasr to tsuDi;*'Di;"nasi'). 

the old one, E (?) thy (matprnal) 

grandfather, E (?) 

This is to Make (the) Little Ones Jump Down from Them, 
FOR Their (Mothers) 


Now then! Thou Uttle man, ha, now! get up right away. Yonder 
the old grannie is coming. She is approaching, behaving frightfully 
as she comes. Now then! Let us both run off forthudth. Take 
thy mattress over yonder. Sharp now! 

Now then! Thou Httle woman, ha! now, get up right away. 
Yonder thy (old) maternal grandfather is coining (etc.). 


This formula for childbirth has been edited and commented by 
Mr. Mooney in his SFC, pages 363-364. 

The decoction is made of the root of Da'b''ni i;naste*'Dzi (also called 
Dalo-'ni a'mayu-'lte'H), Xanthorrhiza apiifolia L'Her., shrub yellow 
root. (See p. 123.) 


!t"a-N!.y i^-'mskwo-'ldtSG^-' u^'yo'^sktlQ-'oa tyu'sti yi'ki 

this, and whenever they (let) down it made to slime like it if it is 

from stomach 

n9*Vo*t'i' k'a'ndjfstu'oa unf'tli tst'ki ca'tlao^-' eVi 

to cure with (Agrimony) tuber it which is hillside, T L it is 


Gy'lstano'aGwo"' vndt*'t'asti' 

it has been steeped, L they must drink it 

And This (is for) When They Discharge Slimy (Matter) from 

Their Bowels 


The medicine is the agrimony (which) has a tuber (and which is) 
growing along the hillside; it should merely be steeped and they 
should drink it. 


The medicine used is a cold infusion of k'a'ndjrstii'Ga unr'tH 
Ga'tlaD9'' e''i, Agrimonia parviflora Ait., agrimon5^ 

[It is drunk by the patient at regular intervals; there is no cere- 
monial administration nor any taboo.] 


Gt''G5° u-'ntsk\vo*'ldtSG9-' iiQ-'wo-tT 

blood whenever they Get) down to cure with 

from stomach 

kw*a'n-unstt"'Ga sii'ltN!^ na.'sGwo" gl-'gq i;'ntskwo-'ldisGo[.P^] 

peach (es), they little persimmon, also blood whenever they (let) down 

and from stomach 

n9''wo-tT I a'Gano!i i;-'°lDso''i 

to cure with it has been it has passed 


(This is) the Medicine When They Discharge Blood from 

Their Bowels 


Small peaches and persimmons are the medicine when they discharge 
blood from their bowels. It should be boiled and boiled down. 


This prescription for flux would undoubtedly be efficacious when 
drunk by the patient, as it has a pronounced astringent effect. 
kw'a^nunsti*'Ga, Prunus pennsylvanica L. f., wild, red, bird, fire, or 
pin cherry; siili', Diospyros virginiana L., common persimmon. 

gi*'g5° i;-'ntskwo"'ldtsG9'(.i ^^) | 

blood whenever they (let) it down 

from stomach 

yGu'G-usko'J-i Gf'oS" i;-'mskwo''ldtsG9'' na.'sGwo"' ng'Vo't'i' | 

hooting owl, its head, L blood 1 whenever they (let) it down also to cure with 

from stomach 

"wa-'^sa-Gwo"^' Gf'lstano^'t-Gwo'' u-ndt"t*asti' 

by itself, L it has been steeped, L they must drink it 

Also a Medicine When They Discharge Blood from Their 



Goldenrod should merely be steeped by itself. They must drink it. 


Another of the Ut. prescriptions on which no additional information 
could be obtained. The infusion is made with the root of y'GUGusko', 
a species of Solidago L., goldenrod. A specimen collected by another 
informant was identified as Pedicularis canadensis L., common louse- 

23 Emendation by editor. 



[Bull. 99 


fern and 

the top, Loc, L (-E) 

u'sko'lg' Gi*'Ga 

pale color blood 

GdDv SI € :i no° Gi nv yeOQ- qgl- t>q 

mountain it is four as far as it it taken 

living grows up 

Dt^'xtSUGiDa' aG0-'st8=GW0"' | 

they have been cut it raw, L 

yi;-'ntskwo-'l8Dt!a' i;'"iyo°"skJQ-'D8 

if they (let) down from it made to slime 


if it is 




this here 


they (sol.) 

put in 


i;' na= 

they are 







to cure with 


it which has 
been (Hab) 


it has been steeped, L 

fire, and 

Also a Medicine When They Discharge Pale Blood (and) 
Slimy Matter from Their Bowels 


Four stalks of the fern growing on the mountain, the very tops 
being taken and cut off; (this is) also a medicine, when they discharge 
pale blood (and) slimy matter from the bowels. This medicine should 
be steeped, and four (coals of) fire should be put into (the infusion). 


[This is another one of the Ut. prescriptions on which even Ay. 
was not able to give any more inforaiation to Mr. Mooney. iGo°"li 
is the generic name for all the varieties of fern, and the classifying 
expression "Gany'si e'li" "growing on the mountain," is too 
vague a one to allow of the exact identification of the species.] 

u*'nawa"sti ng-'wo't'i^ 

chill to cure with 

10 U'lf'Da.sti' ustf'Ga 
he-deceives it (is) little 


it (is) tail 

it small 



laurel, T L 


all the time 


It, L 

ttse'^i tsi'ki 

green it which is 


whenever they are thirsty 


the other, 






it (is) little 

G8Di;- S-e a 

mountain, it is 

it is 

I u'ne''bGi' 

by itself 

I na.'ski 

this here 


whisky, and 


to be steeped with 


to cure with 

the other, 


it has sinews 




they must 

25 Emendation by editor. 




To Cure the Chill With 



White bugbane and another small (variety) also; and another 
tall (i. e., black cohosh); and the cherry growing in the mountain; 
and the small (plant that) has arteries, growing among the laurels: 
and whisky; common speedwell, the one which is all the time green; 
is to be steeped by itself, and they must drink this whenever they 
are thirsty; this is to cure them with. 


An infusion is inade of vlf'ca.sti^ i;sti*'Ga, Adaea alba (L.) MUl., 
white bugbane; u'lr'na.sti' so'i' i;stt*'ga, Adaea alba (L.) Mill., white 
bugbane; vlf'oa.sti^ i;*'t*8n5°', Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt., black 
cohosh, black snakeroot, rattleweed; t'aya', Prunus virginiana L., 
chokecherry ; tsy'wany'na ustf'oa du'^su'gq*' e''i, Phlox stolonifera Sims, 
and this is blown on the patient with the usual four repetitions. 

A separate infusion of Ga^niGwa^k'ski, Veronica officinalis L., 
common speedwell, is drunk by the feverish patient whenever he feels 


a a 


Df'ntyo''tli DtDo'tlt*aDr'n8Da^N*tt''-yi' 

they (are) small to make them jump down, for them, E. 


it to be said, E. 

!t"a-Gw5" nt\-usti' 

sGe" I ^tsy'Dze G€-s9-'-r)wo" | k't'lu-Gwo" 

Now, then thou boy it is, L soon, L (=E) 

this, L. 

t-yg- D9 


so far, like 

i; SO- .1 



he has arisen, facing us 




they lie stretched hither 

k'mu-'Go-°.i' k't'lu-Gwo°' I 

UQ- no-a 

trail(s), Loc 

come out, thoul 


thou and I 

will pass to 


SGe" I 

Now then, 

soon, L (=E) 


ha. Sharply! 


it frightful 






he is doing as he comes 

Day a* .1 I 

he comes hither 


let thou and I run 


thou boy 


Sun, Loc 

^'Ge'*yD-'Dzo G€-s9-'-r)wo-"N!5' 

thou girl it is, L, and 


soon, (L=E) 

D'so'u-i Dawt'skula^ i;*'naye"isti^ nQ'^Dayi^-'na'^o^'ti' | 

night, Flint he frightens them he is doing as he 

Loc comes hither 

no"'sti' DfGf'GaGe"' DtGO''k'aWt'D9.e*.i' y^'skaSe^'tfja' 
sticks they red he rises them, App he frightful, E 

k't'n(;GO''tso-'-i]wo"N'9'' k't'lu-Gwo'' | fyg-'na 

come out L (=E), and soon, L yonder 

Jv' DZ9 


t'oGi' no-'no'-yf'-Dze' 

and I Sun, Loc, direction 

run I 


L (=E), and 


thou and 

I will pass 

to there 

L-jQ- Da 



they walking 




let thou 



ha, Sharply 



[Bull. 99 

sGe" I *a-'nD-Gwo^' 'a't'9i3a-'iu-Ga' ng-'DO'-yi-'-Dza 't'skiiya' 

Now, then ha, now thou hast come Sun, Loc, direct thou man 

• ^u„.,< 

tDa" "wea -Di'no 



thou white thou wizard, E 

a'a' tsutse*'li-Gwu'-Dfna' 

this it is thine, L (=E), E 

to listen 

+ + Go'lstu'tli 


his clan 

no* "Gwu-Dfna 

now, E 

he has failed to do 
it himself 



n6-'D0--yi-'-DZ8 wo°'t'N!Qsta' 

Sun, Loc, direction carry it (Kn.) 

I De'^a^le't'so't'anfGa' 

thou hast come to put 
him on his legs 

his soul 

y9-\\d' ustf'Ga 

human being it little 


again, thou hast come 
to get it (Kn.) 

relinquish thy grasp 


it will rise up as 

m'se-sti' I a'N*9wa'Gi vne-'od Da'^la-'st't'am'se-sti' 

he goes it cloth it white he will put his feet on 

as he goes 

i-'ya-Galg-'ldr Wt^Da^le't'sa'm-Ga' a^Da-N^to' ' ' 

in succession, above he has arisen there the soul 





This ;is to Make the Small Ones Jump Down from Them for 

THEIR (Mothers) 


Now, then! Thou art a boy, no doubt. 

Yonder in the Night Land, Flint hast arisen this instant. 

He is behaving frightfully as he is coming hither; his paths lie 
stretched hither; he is coming hither, (behaving) frightfully. 

Come out at once, thou boy! Let us run quickly to over yonder 
(out of reach of Fhnt). Let us pass (to the direction) of the Sun 
Land, sharply! 

Now, then! Thou art a girl then, no doubt. (From) yonder in the 
Night Land Flint (is coming) this instant. He frightens (everybody) 
as he is coming hither. He raises his red walking sticks threateningly. 
Come out this instant, thou girl. Let us quickly run to over yonder. 
Let us pass (to the direction) of the Sun Land, ha! sharply! 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou White Man 
from the Sun Land, thou powerful wizard. He is of such-and-such 
a clan. The little human being is thine, be sure of it. Now thou hast 
come to get him; he has failed to (come out) by himself. Carry him 
to the Sun Land, and do not withdraw thy hand from lum. Thou 
hast come to put him on his feet, his soul will ascend (to happiness 
and prosperity) as he walks along the path (of life). He will place 
his feet on white cloth as he walks along. His soul has ascended to 
the supreme seventh upper world. Sharply! 


This formula is, hke No. 70, page 273, for childbirth. The pre- 
scription and the ceremony are the same, and but little additional 
explanation is required. 





Dawt'skiila' or Flint is personified in Cherokee mythology as a 
terrible and an aggressive individual, the dreaded enemy of all the 
mythic animal world because it was with flint that man pointed his 
deadly arrows. [Cf. Mooney, Myths, pp. 234, 274, 451.] He is here 
represented as advancing threateningly shaldng his red walldng sticks. 

The final paragraph is recited only when the preceding ones fail to 
produce any effect. It is sometimes recited at the house immedi- 
ately after the others, but usually the medicine man goes down to the 
stream for this purpose, using the beads during the recital, in the 
manner described elsewhere, in order to learn from their motions 
whether the child is alive or dead. The medicine man stated that 
it was not always possible to ascertain this by the ordinary means. The 
bead ceremony is sometimes repeated seven times, the rest only once. 

After having recited this paragraph at the water he returns to the 
house and repeats it without the beads, while standing by the side 
of the mother-to-be. According to the medicine man's statement, 
the residt is always successful. 

The final paragraph resembles the formulas used when "going to 
water" described in other places. The cloth referred to is perhaps 
the cloth upon which the beads are placed during the ceremony [or 
may be the cloth which used to be spread out for the child to fall 
upon. (See p. 124.)] 





u'& u'lsta-y'ti' v'thyu'kt'ano'H a'Da'nQ^'wo't'i' 

this it is eaten it has changed itself to cure anyone with 

I aGaWe-'la v'''yukt'ano'H G€Se''(.i ^^) a'ctsti' Ge-'t*A= 

the Old Woman has changed it it is, App it (Sol) to eat within 



it has grown, 

(a) SGe" 


thou art staying 


WO* DtGf 


UQ' DO"-yf -DZ9 
sun, Loc, direction 



it (sol) to 




it what thou eatcst, L 

o^'t^ant'Ga' I 

u'sony'li tsa''"wutsf'l8 2^ 

quiclily thy saliva 


it has grown, 


it is, App 


thou hast come to let them down 


ha, now 


thy stomachs 

bury themselves 
in it 



a likeness of it will be left, L 



beyond it, 

nu'^Dat^an^-'Da no°"t'9"ne"'lt*Ga' 

it has been said thou hast come to do it 

simultaneously for him 


thou hast come and 
pulled it out 


they have come to 

thou passed, T L 



28 Emendation by editor. 

^ Emendation by J. M.; instead of vv-\vatsi-'la=his saliva. 


(6) sGe" I GftH' sa'k'o-ni' v^^q-dzo'-jl-'-dzd Gal9"'ldi (etc.). 

now Dog blue cold, Loc, direction above 


(c) sGe" I GftH' 5°''naGf' u'so"t-yi-'-Dza Galcrldi (etc.). 

now Dog black Night, Loc, direct, above 


(d) SGe" I a'GaWe-'la i;''*yukt'ano'!-i Ge-S€-(-'i ^^) a'GtStr 

now the Old Woman she has changed it it is, App it (sol) to eat 


Ge-'t'AG9-' ut'9''sf.i' 

within it has grown, 


5 SGe'' I GftH' Dt'st*AStf'Ga' stfGt-'GaGf' Gal^-'ldi nt'Do'= 

now Dog(s) you two Little you two red above right 

then above 

15°' fy9*'D8 sto'tlt'o^'sti u'sDny'li ts'Ast'iwaDZf'la ^^ De'sta= 

us yonder you two are staying (luickjy your {-'') saliva you two 

DO-"o°'t'anfGa' I a'GtStr Ge-'t'AGg-' i;'t'o°SO-' | 'a'-no-GWO^' 
have come to let them it (sol) to within it has grown, ha, now 

down eat App 

t'tsta"'seS9''fGa' I ay*'xStSu'D9-GW0"' Ge"'stciD9*'N!e'lfGa' I 

you two have come and it looljod over repeatedly, H you two have come and done 

pulled it out it for him 

ntGO'Vay€*'l8.n9'o°'sGe-'sttGwo°' stt^'lo's-Q-.i' | utst'-nawu-Gwo"^' 

a likeness of it will remain, L you two passed beyond-it, stretched, L 

T L 

IQ aDo*'nfGa' I 'ya^ 

it has been said Sharply 

This is the Medicine When Their Food is Changed 


Now, then! the old Woman has changed it; the food wdthin has 

Now, then! Brown Dog, on high, in the direction of the Sun Land 
thou art staying; quickly thou hast come to let thy saliva down. 
The food within has grown. Ha, now thou hast come and pulled it 
out. It is the very thing thou eatest. It has come to bury itself 
into thy stomachs. A mere likeness of it wiU remain, when thou 
wilt have passed. Relief has been caused forth^dth, thou hast 
come to do it for him. Sharply! 

Now, then! Blue Dog, on high, in the direction of the Cold Land 

Now, then! Black Dog, on high, in the direction of the Night Land 

Now, then! The Old Woman has changed it; the food within has 

Now, then! You two Little Red Dogs, yonder on high, right above 
you two are staying. Quickly you have come to let your saliva down. 
Tlie food within has been changed. Ha, now you have come and 
pulled it out. You two have come to look it over carefully. Scarcely 

28 Emendation by editor. 

2' Emendation by editor; instead of Di;-''watst''l3=/izs saliva. 





a likeness of it mil remain when you will have passed, 
been caused. Sharply. 


Relief has 

This formula is used when the medicine man suspects from the 
soreness of the abdominal region of the patient that some enemy has 
"changed the food" in his stomach, and caused it to sprout or be- 
come a living thing inside of the man's body. The sickness is evident- 
ly a digestive trouble. 

The treatment consists of a simple rubbing of the abdomen with 
the hands of the medicine man, previously warmed over the fire. 
This is said to ease the pains and induce action of the bowels, thus 
dislodging the metamorphosed and unwholesome food. 

The medicine man warms his hands at the fire and then recites 
the first paragraph while rubbing the patient's abdomen, blowing 
upon it at the end of the recital. This is repeated with each of the 
four paragraphs, and if necessary the whole ceremony is repeated 
four times before noon. 

Each paragraph starts out with a statement that the trouble is 
due to a metamorphosis or change caused by "the Old Woman" 
a'Gawe*'la. This is a formulistic name for the new corn which is the 
chief food staple of the Cherokee, and which according to one of 
their myths originally sprang from the blood of an old woman 
(Mooney, Myths, p. 242). 

The common word for corn is se-lu'. 




SGe ' 

now then 


to cui'e with 


now then 


to cure 


to cure with 


they (let) them down from 


they do not recover 


thou hast apportioned 


thou hast given permission 



une" Ga 

it which 

Gv .nfGa 

I have come and 
put it into it (liq) 

tsane-'tlano^i tsotlsko-'lt'a(no3")'!i | no-"Gwo"' 

thou hast apportioned thou hast given permission now 

no'Gwo"' ng'Vo't'i' i;ne*'G8 5 

une* G9 

it which 


I have come to talie 
it out of the fire 

to cure with 

it white 

'o °"-sktne-'GWO.e"'lt*Ga' 

again, thou hast come to increase 
it for me 


(summer grape) 


they have claws, and 

ngoo* -yi 

sun. Log 


sun, Loc 


it which, it comes 
out (Hab) 


it which, oomes 
out (Hab.) 






it which, it lies 


It which, lies 

Emendation by W., recorded by editor. 



[Bull. 99 

(flowering dogwood), and also sun, Loc 

it comes out (black gum) 


na.'sGwo" ng'Do-'-yi "wi;kto*'.i uDO''lano"'-N*5 | ng-'DOGwe'^ya-N^^ 

also sun, Loc it comes out, (service berry), and (sourwood) and 


Golkwo-'ci i;"naSte''tlo''^^ 

Df DaGe" .1 

they sprout 


like each 

Dt'Gi" GaGe' .1 

they red 

ntGa' D8 


they roots 

5 no°"Gi t-yu'^b'tsti' 


of the 


water, Loc 

it passed, succes- 
sive times 

this, and 

am a* -yi 

water, Loc 


when it (sol) is put 
into it 



it to he carried 


they to be 

GQ -Da= 

it taken 



it dipped out with it 

tyu'stua'"' Ga''.i 

like, every it has boiled down, 

T L 

VaDZO°"sti I 

to go there 




fish and 

vjo' t-yu 

different, L 

This is to Cure (Them) With, When They let Them Down From 
Their Stomach, (and) They Do Not Recover 


Now, then! Thou (who) hast apportioned (all things) thou hast 
given (me) pennission; now I have come to put the white medicine 
into (the boiling vessel). 

Now, then! Thou (who) hast apportioned (all things), thou hast 
given (me) permission; now I have come to take the white medicine 
out of (the pot on the) fire; now thou hast come to increase (the virtue 
of the medicine) for me. 

Summer grape trailing low down (on the ground, shooting) out 
toward the Sun Land, an ampelopsis (vine) trailing low down (on the 
ground, shooting) out toward the Sun Land, flowering dogwood 
also (going) away toward the east; and service berry; and seven red 
sourwood sprouts. The roots are to be taken in every case and this 
(i. e., the first paragraph) is to put it into (the boiling vessel). 

It has to be boiled down four times in succession. When it is taken 
from the fire it has to be carried down to the stream, (to add more 
water to it); and this here (i. e., the second paragraph) is to dip 
(the water) out vnth. Every time it has boiled down, one has to go 
down to the stream. Chicken and fish are very bad (for the patient). 


[This formula to cure an obstinate case of diarrhea is a very 
interesting one in that it introduces two of the prayers that are still 
often used by the medicine man to invoke the blessing of some 
mighty spirit, usually unc'tlano'^i himself, on the medicine and on the 
operations of boiling and 

W. D. form; C. D.=u'nast€'Dzi. 

Olbkechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 283 

The medicine is a decoction of the following plants:] 

t'c--lo*'ldi, Vitis aestivalis Michx., summer grape, pigeon grape. 

u'^nasy/ca, Ampelopsis cordata Michx. 

k*a'nost'^t*a, Cornus jlorida L., flowering dogwood. 

unt^'kwa, Nyssa multiflora Wang., black gum. 

i;DO''lano°\ Amelanchier canadensis (L.) Medic, shadbush; service- 

n9''D0"Gwe'''ya, Oxydendune arboreum (L.) DC, sorrel-tree, sour- 

The roots are taken from the east side in the case of the trees; 
from the vines, runners that grow out toward the east are chosen. 

The roots are put into a vessel of water [which has been dipped out 
of the stream], and the whole is boiled down until the liquid is nearly 
evaporated, when the vessel is taken from the fire and taken down 
to the stream to be filled again. The roots are then boiled down once 
more, and so on for four consecutive tunes, after which the medicine 
is administered to the patient. Chicken and fish are rigorously 
tabooed in [all diarrhea cases, as these animals, judging from their 
loose feces, seem to be chronically suffering from this very ailment]. 

a'natlo'yt'H u'nAstr'oa i;G9*'wutli' a'a' 

they cry, (Hab) they little it for the purpose this 

sGe" I Golkwo-'oi iGolsta^'laGi' a'^ne-Dzo-'oi tso'tbst*lo!'i j 

Now then seven they clans ball-game it has assembled 

tsu'lawttso'H I o''Dali ane'!i Ge^'se'.i' I n9*'Do*-GO'-yi ('i^^)c= 

it has met mountain they are it is, App sun, Loc thou 


kuya' GL^GaGf' tso'tlt'o't'sti *a't'o'r)a"^nt*Ga | Galg^'ldi 

Man red thou art staying thou hast come to listen above 

Do*t^lo!i' I 'o'^'a'nesu'nfGa' De''aDaGale*'N!t*ant*Ga' | u'soni;"'- 5 

thou comest again, thou hast come thou hast come to separate them quickly, 

from down 

It'-yu^ fso^'f-yi' n^-no'-Ji wt-Da''Dano'''*9r)a' styay9-'DaGWa 

E night Loc trail (s), Loc thither, they have laid a noise as of thun- 


°lo"'s]d i;so'*f-yi' "wa'nztt^o't'st'anfGa' n9"'Dayu''kt*a'9-str ntG€*'= 

der night Loc he has come to put it to stay it to look back never 


S9*na' I utsi^'nawa^ ntG9''DtsGe"sti' | 

beyond it, it will be said 

stretched continuously 

D€*'G0-st'siSG-9-'.i I y9"wi' G9*Vantska*'sta'ne'9-',i a'ndtsko°'.i 

they have been assembled human being they are scaring them (Hab) they say (Hab) 

repeatedly T L 

ts-aMatlo"yt*a' v'nAstf'Ga o^'naH ane^'i y9''wi | tso*'l-aGa= 10 

when it is, they are they Uttle mountain they are human tobacco, it 

crying living being 

yg-'li-Gwo'^" DiDzo't*tsto.^ti' niGa-'na a'ntye-l-9-'.i | a'ntGe-n-9-M 

old, L. they to be blown with it all their body, T L their crown of the 

head, T L 

^ Interpolated by J. M, 


tGQ-yi' DtDZO-'t'tsto.'tr I no^'oi' a^skwuDf'sti tj^u'sti^a"' 

first they to be blown with it four it ended Mke, each 

USD*'! I Da'k'anQ-'wiskg-'.t-N'J^*' no^'ci' tsus5-"tDa ij^-'db 

night while they are being cured and four they nights, been yonder 

yne'-Da.sti' mGe-'sQ"na' | a^a-N*^'' Go'f'sti tsu'GiDu'tH yt'ki 

they to walk never this, and something they feathers if it is 


ntGa-'Da 5'^'D0-'yi a*ti' Ge-'s^-.i' GQ-Vanf'Gistg-'.i fDZi;-'b*a-'- 

all outside it to be put it was, Hab whenever they are eating both, each 

down them 

^-Gwo"^ Dtk*an9*'wo*t't*-yi' | a°le" k'a'ne'Ga' Go'f'sti mca-'Da 

L to cure them with, E and skin something all 

GanyGo'"wtsti' | ng'Vo't'i' tso*'l-aGay9"'k-Gwo'^ 

it has to come out to cure with tobacco, it old, L 

This is for the Purpose op (Curing) Children When They 

Constantly Cry 


Now, then! The seven clans have assembled for a ball game; they 
have met. They are the Mountain Dwellers. 

Thou (who) art staying in the Sun Land, O Red Man, thou hast 
come to listen; thou comest from above; again thou hast come down, 
thou hast come to separate the (ball players). Their paths have laid 
themselves in the direction of the Night Land. With a noise as of 
thunder, he^^ has taken it ^^ to the Night Land to stay, it never to 
look back. ReUef will be caused constantly. 

Where the (directions) have been assembled: The people are scar- 
ing them, they say, when the children are constantly crying, the 
people living in the mountain (that is). Old tobacco should be 
blown on them,^^ all over their bodies. Their ^^ crowTi should be 
blown first. The (operation) should be repeated (Ht., "ended") 
four (times), each time at night. While they ^^ are being cured 
(that is) four nights, they should not walk about. And this (you 
ought to be careful about) : If there are any feathers (inside the house), 
put them all outside (just) like when they are being treated for the 
(disease that is called) ''they are eating them." And any skin that 
(might be inside the house) all has to come (outside). The medicine 
is just old tobacco. 


This prescription is for a stomach or bowel complaint common 
to very young children, and which causes them to cry constantly. 
According to Cherokee views, this ailment is sent by the o''Dali ane!i 
or Mountain Dwellers, a class of invisible fairies. (See p. 25.) 

?« The Red Man. " xhe disease. 55 -p^e patients. 


The medicine man makes the rather starthng assertion that the 
crying of the ciiild is due to the fact that seven fairy clans are playing 
a ball game in its stomach, and he calls upon the Red Man to swoop 
down upon them like a hawk upon its prey and drive them out into 
the Night Land . 

The Red Man is probably the Thunder, and this would explain the 
reference to "the noise as of thunder" with which he takes them out 

The medicine consists of an infusion of tso''laGayQ''li, Nicotiana 
rustica L., wild tobacco, blown over the body of the child for four 
consecutive nights. Any feathers in the house must be put outside 
during the course of the treatment, and the child itself should be kept 
indoors for the foiu" days during which the treatment lasts. These 
precautions are taken, as the medicine man stated, because the 
disease closely resembles GQ'Vanf'Gtsto-'.i,^^ another children's com- 
plaint, which is believed to be caused by the birds, and which may 
be communicated from their feathers or from their shadow faUing 
upon the child as they fly overhead. 

Ay. could not explain the restriction with regard to the articles of 
skin, since this is one of the Ut. formulas. 

i;myD"'t*8GtSG9*'[.i ^^] a'Da*n9"'wo'tT aV 

Whenever they have an to cure anyone with this 


i'^naste*'t-S"ti''Ga i;'ndt"t'asti'-yi' | Go°"t*oti' DtDZO*'t'a.e''tt- 

root, little they must drink it, E. to be used with it it must be blown 

on them, 



o"'ya Dalo*'ntG€-°' (4 times). 

(Fire) yellow 



o*'ya (4 times). 


tct'stu Dalo''niGe-°' (4 times). 

Babbit yellow 


tct'stu (4 times). 


2^ When they (i. e., the birds) eat them (the children). 
8^ Emendation by editor. 


This is the Medicine When They Have the Itching 


They must drink Virginia snakeroot; it is also to be used to blow 
them with. 

Yellow Fire (4 times). Sharply! 
Fire! (4 times). 

Yellow Rabbit (4 times). Sharply! 
Rabbit! (4 times). 


[This song is to treat the same ailment as described in the notes 
follo^^dng prescription No, 4, p. 173. 

In this case the disease is believed to be caused by the patient 
having uiinated on the ashes. This doubtless explains why the fire 
is addressed under its formulistic name of o*ya' but it has not been 
possible to learn why the Rabbit was called upon. Both to the fire 
and to the rabbit a yellow color is ascribed, to correspond with the 
color of the urine.] 

The medicine used is the root of u'naste"'tstf'Ga, Aristolochia ser- 
pentaria L., Virginia snakeroot, which is chewed by the mediciue 
man and blown by him into the urethra by means of a grass stalk 
or a small tube of cane, according to the sex of the patient. A portion 
of the snakeroot is also steeped in water and the infusion drunk by 
the patient, who is forbidden to eat potatoes or beans while under 
treatment. As this disease has its theoretic origin in the Fire, the 
reason for this taboo is probably the same as that given in No. 45. 

The bark of tsryu', Liriodendron tulipifera L., tulip tree, poplar, 
whitewood, is sometimes used as a substitute for the snakeroot. 

In making the ceremonial application, the medicine man sings the 
first fine of the song, addressed to the yellow Fii'e, and then blows the 
medicine four times into the urethra. He then repeats the line in 
the same manner, after which he calls four times upon the Fire iu a 
quick, sharp tone of voice, and blows his breath four times into the 
urethra as the medicine was blown into it before. The same alternate 
blowing of the medicine and of the breath is repeated with the second 
part of the song addressed to the Yellow Rabbit. The ceremonj^ thus 
consists of four stages, as is usually the case in the medical formulas, 

1. Song to the Fire; medicine blown four times. 

2. Song to the Fire; breath blown four times. 

3. Song to the Rabbit; medicine blown four times. 

4. Song to the Rabbit; breath blown four times. 

[During my stay with the Cherokee the practice of blomng the 
medicine into the urethra of the patient was no longer known. 


The medicine was blown from a distance of 3 to 4 feet in the direction 
of the patient's bare abdomen by the medicine man, a tnbe of 
a'madi'*to.ti' v't'eno"' being used for this purpose.] 

*i'a' Dalo-'ni-Ge-'° ts-a-'ndtk'8'9-'[.i ^^] ngwo't'i' m'vT>L-yi' 

this yellow-ish that wliich they urinate (Hab.) to cure with to give it them 

to drink— E. 

*ya" I *a'-no-Gw5°' skwAt'Q-'rja-ne-'h-Ga' Galg-'ldi aye''h--yu' 

Sharply! ha, now thou hast come to listen to me above middle, E. 

tso'tlt'o'tsti' skwan€-'tlano!-'i | 'a-no-'Gwu-Dfn8' nQVot'i' 

thou art staying thou hast apportioned for me ha, now, E. to cure with 

i>ne-'G8 'a-'-t'a'°lsko-lt'a' | *a' + + Golstu tH f'ywDo-'tali + + 

it white ha, thou hast given ha, so and so his clan heaped up so and so 


tSuD0-'tD9 I tsy'lt*0*tSt-o' ulte'-yf'DZO'' t't't'o'^sfaUfGa' I 

his names are where he stays T. L. near, Loc, Direction thou hast come to 

put it to stay 

'a*'-Go*i;s'ti sttnu-'la'o^'ski nt'ce's^-na' | 'a'-no-'Gwu-Dfna' 

ha, something you two fail (Hab.) never ha, now, E 

9'Dal-o°*na'Ge-sto--yi' 'a-'wtk'y'sfGa' | + + Go'istut'H | + + 

lake, black, edge, Loc. ha, it (sol.) has been so and so his clan so and so 

thrown in (liq.) 

tsuDo-'tna' I 'a-'-aye-lg' Ge'sg.i' €*tsti' i;'Do'nt''^le-''.i' I 

his names ha, his body, Loc. it is, T. L. pain it has been said, App. 

V-no'Gwo^' y'sonv'h'-yu' DeG^'^le^'istsGe'sti' Nhstgne-'lfGa' 

ha, now quickly, E. he shall arise continuously thou hast come to 

do it for him 

This is the Medicine to Give Them to Drink When They Uri- 
nate Yellowish (Urine) 


Sharply! Ha, now thou hast come to listen to me, on high in the 
center thou art staying, thou (who) bast apportioned (the things) for 
m^e. Ha, now indeed thou hast given me permission (to use) the 
white medicine. Ha, he is of such and such a clan, he is called so-and- 
so. Thou hast come to put it to stay near the place where he is 
staying. Ha, you two never fail in anything. Ha, but nov/ it ^^ 
has been thrown into the black lake, near its shore. He is of such-and- 
such a clan, he is called so-and-so. Ha, his body *° has been caused 
to become pain(ful). But now he will quickly and constantly arise; 
you two have come to do it for him. 


This formula, which was noted down by the medicine man at a later 
time than most of the others, is carelessly written and evidently 

38 Emendation by editor. ^^ The disease. *° The patient. 

7548°— 32 20 


incomplete. The first part of it is addressed to une'^tlano'ci, the 
Sun, one of the greatest divinities of the Cherokee pantheon. 

The two spirits called upon in the second paragraph are not named, 
evidently through forgetfulness in writing out the formula, but they 
are probably the Two Thunder Boys, or Little Men. 

The medicine used is a decoction of the roots of vjo''j)a]i^ i^stf'oa 
GaDu-'se'H, Iris verna L., dwarf iris; i;"yo''Dali ustf'ca a'mayv'lt'eH, 
Acorus calamus L., sweet flag, calamus; u'Da*'.i vstf'ca. Clematis 
virginiana L., virgin's bower, together with chips of the stalk of 
v'Ba-'.i u*'t'8no'°, Aristolochia macrophylla Lam., pipe vine, Dutch- 
man's pipe. 

The decoction is drunk by the patient after the formula has been 
recited by the medicine man. The ceremonial [administration] takes 
place two or four times, but the patient drinks the medicine at intervals 
as often as desired, abstaining from other food or drink in the mean- 
time. There is no bathing or blowing of the medicine. 

!t'a' a'ntsko"'li a'Da^ng-'wo'tT | 

this their head to cure anyone with 

JtV Dt'k*ano*Gt''Da | 

this they have been sung 

*a:yi' | a'mskii'ya a'ntDa-'"we ant'loH' | 

they men they wizards they have 

gone by 

vtsi''-nawa' ano'°*nfGa' | 

beyond it, stretched they have said it 

e'Hl-awf'ni am'^loJi' I 

earth, under 

they have 
gone by 


it important 

am'sala ndo't'a'nfGa' 

they have come and lifted it 
up as they went by 



ano°''nrGa' | 


tSf'naSDfGa' | 

they are little 

ant'lo!i' e' 

'Hlawfni' 1 





ano°'*nfGa' | 'ya*' 

SGe" 1 

a'ntsku'ya ani'GaGe-°': 

they are red 

i ant'loci' 1 aye-lQ-' 

they have his body 
gone by 



am'k'Atg'-^le'i' | u-'lsGe-'oa *a'nulko''"t't'a'nfGa' | vtsi 

they have forced it important they have come and scattered it 
through App. 



1 'ya'' 

SGe" 1 

no*'Gwo' a'ntsku'ya 

antDe"a°lu' *amno!i' 

they purple 



df'Dza 1 

i;-lsGe*'Da a'niilko'H't' 

'anfGa' 1 i;tsi"nawa' 


nfca' 1 ' 


oIbeechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 289 

This is the Medicine (for) Their Head 


This has to be sung: 

Ha-yi! The Men, the Wizards have gone by, 
They have caused rehef. 

Under the earth they have gone by. 
As they went they lifted the disease up. 
They have caused relief. 

The Little Wizards 

Have gone by under the earth. 

As they went they lifted the disease up. 

They have caused relief. Sharply! 

Now, then! The Red Men have gone by. They have forced their 
way through the center of his body. They have come to scatter the 
important thing. They have caused relief . Sharply! 

Now, then! Now, the Purple Men have gone by on high. They 
have come to scatter the important thing. They have caused relief. 


The medicine used with this headache formula is [ordinary chewing] 
tobacco, with a little ginseng {Panax trifolium L.) root, [if available]. 
These are chewed by the medicine man and the juice is blown upon 
[the forehead, the temples, the crown of] the head and the back of 
the neck of the patient. 

The medicine man stands erect while singing the preliminary song. 
He then recites the first paragraph of the formula and blows the juice 
on the patient four times. This is repeated after the second para- 
graph, and the whole ceremony may be repeated. As usual, the 
patient sits facing the east. In most headache formulas the ceremony 
is about the same. 

[The Red Men and the Purple Men mentioned belong probably to 
the class of the "Little People." (See p. 25.)] 

!t'a' aDe-'\Q Dt'kt'oti' 

this bead(s) to look at 

them with 

sGe" I ^a-'no-Gwo"' *a t^Qqa-'nt-Ga' yp'wi' Gan'o*f'D8 

Now, then ha, Now thou hast come to human long 

listen being 

tsotlto't'sti I Go'u'sti tsanu-'lti nt'Ge-'sg-na' | *tye-'l-ast-Q*' 

thou art staying something thou failest never thy body, edge, 

T L 

nQ*'noH' De*'tsiGaso*"o°'t'a'nt"Ga' | DtGa'skJo''Gi tsune*'G8 aNlq- 

trail(s), Loc I have come to bring them down they chairs they white it cloth 

wa'ci i;n€-'G8 a'ltlg-'t'anfGa' ^^ | sQ-mk't'a tsune-'oa 

it white it (kn.) has come to lie beads they white 

on it 

*i W. Dial, form; C. Dial. a'lsQ-H'ont-Ga'. 



IBULL. 99 

it (sol) has come to lie first 

on it 

Gal9*lo''° aDa'N'to' tsu^'le^'tsotf-jd' 

it above it soul it has arisen, Loc 


it is, T L 



it has risen 

t'a^ ''li-nf ' Ga'lQ-ldi' DtGa'sktl5°' tsiine-'GO Da-kso"o°'t*an9-' 



it cloth 



it white 

5 a'itio'H'ant-Ga'^ 

it (sol) has come to lie 
on it 

they chairs they white 

a'ltlo't'anfGa' ^ 

it (kn) has come to lie 
ou it 

t*a ''Itnf' GalQ'ldi' 

second above 

it has been let down, T L 



une* GO 

it whiti; 

aDa'N^to' tsi;le'\sotf-yf 
it soul it has arisen, Loc 

Ge'SQ*' Da'^le'tSa'nt'Ga 

it is, T. L it has risen 

tso.\nf' Galo'ldi' (etc.). 

third above 

Ga'l9"ldi' (etc.). 






Gal9-ldi' (etc.). 



sf'Daltne"'' Ga'l9'ldi (etc.). 

sixth above 

Golkwo"'Gtne*' Dt'Galo-'ldt-y-9*'.i DtGa'sk Jo* '^' 

seventh they above, Loc, T L they chairs 


they white 


been let down, 
T L 

a'N'9wa'Gi une'^Ga a'itl9"'t'anfGa' ^^ 

it cloth it white it (kn.) has come to 

lie on it 

vne' G9 

it white 

a4tb-'t'aiifGa' ^^ I 

if (sol) has come to lie 
on it 

i;wo ISO no: i 

it has been made 


if looked into 

aDO nfGa 

it has been said 

+ + tSUDO*'-tDa I 

so and his names are 




ISWt'GananuGO" tStSa nfGa 

it has appeared up there 


it soul 


he will arise continuously 


it has 


his soul I 




This is to Examine with the Beads 


Now, then! Ha, now thou has come to Hsten, Long Human 
Being, thou art staying (right here) ; thou never failest in anything. 
I have come to bring my paths down to the edge of thy bo(3y. The 
white cloth has come to rest on the white chairs; the white beads 
have come to rest on (the white cloth). The soul has risen to the 
first upper world, the place of its ascension. 

In the second upper world the white chairs have been let down; 
the white cloth has come to rest on them; the white beads have 
come to rest on (the white cloth). The soul has risen to the second 
upper world, the place of its ascension. 

"3 W. Dial, form; C. Dial. a'lso-H'ant-Ga'. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 291 

lu the third upper world {etc.). 

In the fourth upper world {etc.). 

In the fifth upper world {etc.). 

In the sixth upper world {etc.). 

In the seventh upper world the wliite chairs have been let down; 
the white cloth has come to rest on them; the white beads have 
come to rest on (the white cloth). He is called so-and-so. His 
soul, made pleasing, has become examined. In the seventh upper 
world it has appeared, the soul will ascend constantly. Sharply! 


[This is one of the three formulas published by Mr. Mooney 
in his interesting account of the Cherokee River Cult (p. 8).] It 
is recited when "going to water," for obtaining long life, before 
eating the new corn, etc. The general ceremony is the same as 
the one described in Nos. 43 and 93, but in this case the medicine 
man also uses the beads. 

When the medicine man takes a whole family to the water he 
performs the whole ceremony for each member in turn. Should 
the movements of the beads foreshadow sickness for any member 
of the party he afterwards perfonns another ceremony to learn 
whether that person will recover or die, and also, if possible, to 
avert the threatened evil. 

[According to the oral directions given by Ay.] the beads must 
be laid down upon a yard of cloth; [both] cloth [and beads] after- 
wards become the fee of the medicine man. 

*t'a' Dt'D^ie'sai aTfanqfwo't^^ 

this it breaks them, to cure anyone with 


sGe" I *a-'no"GWo"' Ga'nftH *^ Ga'nttlo'wa ^^ Ge'SQ-' 

Now, then! ha, now bedstead under the floor it is, T L 

nQ*VaDi;"'y9n5'!i | ulsGe-'na Dunv'y'^t'amle'^.i' wa'J'tGwo''' 

it has formed itself it important he has put it under, App Measure-worm 

{a) vsouv'Yl GaN!sta' tsune*'G8 Ge*'s€*°.i' DaDo-'4tsfGa' | 

quickly switch(es) they are it is, App they have come and 

white recognized each other 

a'ntDa*'"we tsu'nstf'Ga D€"'Ge'tsu'tlto't^anfGa' | GaN!sta' 

they wizards they little they have come to make thee get up switch(es) 

tsune-'G8 D€-Ge-'GaS9*'Goldtst'anfGa' | a**ye*'lsti une-'G8 Ge'ts*^ 

they are white they have come to take them knife white they 

into their (hands) have 

ska'se'-'taDfGa' | ntDflt'anQ'Da nQr)e-'tsQn€''li'Ga' | n9'D0*= 

come to frighten thee arisen at the same time they have come and made sun, 

it so for thee 

« W, Dial, form; W. Dial. -tI->C. Dial. -s-. 


yt-'Dza wi'DO-Ge-'tsotlto-'t'am-Ga' | wo'^Dal-q-' tsi;'cko*-i' Gal9'ldf= 

Loc, they have come to make thcc the mountain, post oak, Loc above, 

Direction stand there Loc, yonder 

Dze W9r)e"'tst'o'\st'a'ni*Ga' 

direction they have come to make thee 

stay there 

(6, c, and d exactly the same, witJi each a final *ya*'.) 


De''G0"St'stSG-9/i I aV Dt'D^'le'sGi Dt'Da'n^'Vo't'i 

they have been gathered this he breaks them, to cure people with 


Su'li G0°"t'0tr DiGQ'N!stant'Da.Str | yDD''taGWUD9' Dik!a- 

(per- to use with it they must be struck all day to cure 


Sn^-'wo'tT G€S?-'.i I u'Gisto.ti' a^'ye-'lsti a'Dt.sti' 

them with it it has been, for him to take knife to be put 

Hab it (sol) away down 


This is the Medicine (When) it Breaks Them 


Now, then! Ha, now, it is under the floor, under the bedstead 
that it has formed itself. It is only a measure worm that has put 
the important thing under him, it seems. 

Quickly the white switches have come to act in unison (lit., they 
have come and recognized each other). The little wizards have come 
and have forced thee ^^ to get up with them. They have come to 
take the (switches) into their hands. They have come to frighten 
thee** Avith the white knife. They have come and forced thee to 
arise forthwith; they have come to make thee stand up in the Sun 
Land; in the post oak, on the mountain above, they have come to 
put thee staying. 

Where the (instructions) are gathered: This is the medicine when 
it breaks them; a persimmon (stamper) must be used to massage 
them with; they should be treated all day with it; as fee, a knife 
should be paid. 


This formula for rheumatism consists of four paragraphs, differing 
only in minor points and CAadently intended to be the same. [For 
the measure worm as cause of rheumatism, see p. 293.] 

[Medicine men are now unable to explain the expression, according 
to which the disease "has formed itself under the floor, under the 
bedstead." Cherokee cabins are usuaUy built on some stout comer 
stones, a foot or more high, as a support. This caused the floor to 
be somewhat elevated as a platform, and under it all sort of refuse and 
rubbish is generally thrown. It is not impossible that the expression 
under discussion is a vague hint at this hearth of infection as the abode 

** Addressing the disease. 


of disease. To the rubbish of the yard is also often imputed such a 

The measure worm is driven out with white switches by the little 
wizards, who finally dispose of hmi by putting him in the branches of 
a post oak {Quercus stellata Wang.) upon the mountain. Throughout 
most of the formula the medicine man speaks directly to the disease 

The meaning of the sentence with regard to the white knife is 
obscure and could not be satisfactorily explained by either of the two 
medicine men who were familiar with the formula. 

The ceremony was described jointly by two medicine men. The 
medicine man first prepares a sort of pestle or stamper of the wood of 
suli', Diospyros virginiana L., common persunmon, about 3 or 4 inches 
long and an inch in diameter at the large end. The stamper must be 
newly made in every case, but why this should be so, or why the 
wood selected should be persimmon, the medicine man could not 
explain. One of these instruments [collected by Mr. Mooney] forms 
part of the Cherokee collection in the United States National Museum, 
Washington, D. C. 

The medicine man recites the first paragraph while warming the 
stamper over the fire. He then presses the broad end upon the several 
aching places a nmnber of times. The same operation is repeated 
[during the recitation of] every one of the three [next] paragraphs, after 
which he blows four tunes upon each of the sore spots. The whole 
ceremony is repeated four times before noon, the expression 
i;D0''t8GwuD8' ("all day") in the prescriptions [often] being understood 
to mean until the completion of the fourth and final ceremony about 
noon. After this final application the medicine man scratches the 
patient about the joints with a brier (see p. 70) and rubs into the cyts 
a warm infusion of four varieties of fern (tGo°"li) (see p. 71). 

The taboo list for a rhemnatic patient as given by the two medicine 
men includes the aGo*'48 or sun perch; the oa^'suDa' or drumfish, 
also called buffalo fish; the tsi;'niGt*'tsty5°'sti or hornyhead; the 
a'ndiitsa' or speckled trout; the squirrel, siilo*'"b; and the buffalo, 
yaN^sa'. The taboo extends through life, and with the exception of 
the tsi;'mGf'tstyo°'sti which is prohibited in a number of diseases on 
account of its tendency to rapid decay (see p. 182), is owing to a 
mytliic connection between the disease and the tabooed animal. 
Tliis formula in fact furnishes a perfect illustration of the ideas under- 
lying the whole theory and practice of medicine among the Cherokees. 
The disease, rheumatism, is caused by the measure worm, because the 
cramped movements of the patient resemble those of the worm. The 
remedial herbs used are ferns, because, as these plants grow, their 
fronds unroll and straighten out, just as the medicine man wishes the 
contracted muscles and limbs of the patient to do. 


The patient is forbidden to taste of the sun perch or the bufialo 
fish, because both of these have rounded backs wliich convey the 
impression as if they were drawn up or cramped, as though [afflicted 
with] rheumatism. The squirrel is tabooed on account of its habit of 
"humping" itself at times, and in another rheumatism formula from 
a different medicine man the patient is forbidden to stroke or to 
touch a dog or a cat for the same reason. 

The buffalo is tabooed because of its hump, and the rhemnatic must 
not even touch a buffalo hide or a comb made of buffalo horn. 
Neither medicine man could say why the trout is forbidden, as it 
is also in the other formula just referred to, but the reason doubt- 
lessly lies in some similar peculiarity of shape or movement. 

The mention of the buffalo in this connection possesses a special 
interest for the light it throws upon the age and traditional character 
of the formulas. The buffalo was probably never very numerous 
in the southern Alleghanies, the old country of the Cherokee, and 
according to a tradition still current on the reservation, was last seen 
on Buffalo Creek, in western North Carolina, about the beginning 
of the Revolution. Neither of the medicine men who commended 
this formula had ever seen a buffalo, or even a picture of one, and had 
no idea at all of its shape. They were consequently unable to state 
why the animal was so strictly tabooed, even to its hide and horns, 
but simply said that thus the rule had been handed down to them 
along with the rest of the formula. When shown a picture of a 
buffalo they saw at once the reason for the prohibition. It is safe to 
assert, therefore, that this formula at least dates back to a time long 
prior to the Revolution when the buffalo was comparatively common 
in the mountain valleys and in the lower regions occasionally visited 
hy the Cherokees. In a collection of over 100 Cherokee myths 
obtained [by Mr. Mooney] the buffalo is introduced but once [Mooney, 
Myths, p. 293]. 

i;''ndty9"'Dali' i;G9''wutli' *i'a' 

their navel it for the purpose this 

Ga''ta-Gf'.i aDo'^nfoa' | Dalo"'ni Ge*'sf.i' 

clay-ish it has been said it yellow it is, App 

o°''naG6-°' u'sonv'li Vt'Qr)a"'nfGa' j 

black quickly thou hast come to listen 

'iDa''"Wea'-Dt"n8' | Dalo"'ni Ga'ta-Ge''.i 
thou wizard, E it yellow clay-ish 

y'Do'nii'a-GWO^' Ge-'sf.i'. | u's3ni;''li 'o°'t''a-S£SO^Ga' I 

it has been said, L it is, App quickly again, thou hast come to 

pull it out 

tsotlsta-'y'ti-GWo"^' Ge-'s^-.i' | ntG9-VaDQ-'ni.Gwa'''lo.6-'stt-Gwo"' 

it what thou eatest, L it is, App it will be trampled down continually, L 

Dalo-'ni i; 

it yellow 


1 Dalo-'ni G 

now, theni 

it yellow 


1 k'o-'lano'^^ 

now, then! 


uso'J-i D 


night, Loc 

thou art staying 






it important, L 


gone to put it to 

nfGa' I 

been said 

Dy- DtGe -9' .1 

he was moving 
about, T L 

USO i-L 

night, Loc 

i-yp- DO 


thither, thou hast 

night, been 

nu' Da iiQ' na 

it has not been said 


beyond it, stretched, L 

aDO - 

it has 



now, then! 


now, then! 






Now, then! 

DaJo' m 

it yellow 




clay- ish 



aD'3''nt*Ga' I Dalo''m Ge'^se'.i' 

it has been said it yellow it is, App 

u^sonv'li *a^t'Qi]a*'nt'Ga' i;so^!-i 5 

quickly thou hast come to night, Loc 


Dt'ts3'tlt'o"tsti I Go'if'sti tsctnu-'lti ntce-'s^-na' | 

thou art staying something thou failest never 

Dalo-'nt-GWO"' Ge'Se-' i;lsGe-'D8 Duny'y'tVnt'lf.i' I tsDtlsta-'= 

it yellow L it is, App it important he has put it under, App it what 

y'ttGwo'^' Ge-'sf.i' I iitG9"'waD9-'~ntG\va'°lo.e''stt-Gwo"' tsa'^los-o'H 

thou eatest, L it is, App it will be trampled down continually, L thou passed, T L 

uso-"t3H-'DZ8 wtNct^-'N^AtV vsoY f ijq'ji9 wo''"-t*aDt'Gale-\= 

night, Loc, direction thou hast driven him night,Loc yonder thither, thou hast 

iitG9-Vaye-''o°'sGe*'sti-GWo''' tSa'^los-Q'' i;So"-tD9 10 

a likeness of it will remain, L thou passed, night, been 

T L 

nu*'Da'no''na | i;tst"-na\vu-Gw5^' aDo'^nfca' | 'yS,' 

it has not been said beyond it, stretched, L it has been said Sharply 

Dalo"'ni WO*'DtGf^ Ge'Sf'.i i;lsG€"'Da 

it yellow brown it is, App it important 

I awo'Mi^^ "wo-'DfGe- Galo-'ldi Dt'tso'tlt'o't'sti I 

Eagle brown above thou art staying 

tsaDe'^lftc'e^'ti ntGe'^s^'na' | Dalo"'ni Ge'Sf' u1sG€''d9 

it escapes thy (sight) never it yellow it is, App it important 


Now, then! 




he. has put it under, 


thou hast come to bury it in them 


it will be trampled down continually L 

VSO- tD9 

night, been 

nv DO ng- na 

it has not been said 

Dttc'skwo"'li 15 

thy stomachs 


beyond it, stretched 

aDO nfGa 

it has been said 



This is for ti-ie Purpose of (Curing) the "Yellow" of Their 



Now, then! It has become clayey Yellow. It is Yellow, it seems. 

Now, then! Black Raven, quickly thou hast come to listen; 
thou art staying in the Night Land, thou powerful wdzard. It seems 
it is only what has become clayey Yellow. Quickly thou hast again 
come and pulled it out. Where the important thing was mo^^ng 
about, only the traces of trampling will remain. Thou hast gone to 
put it staying yonder in the Night Land, (and) not for one night 
(only, but forever). Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

*^ Emendation by editor, instead of wa*i.''li=l/Measure-worm, 2/South. 


Now, then! It has become clayey Yellow. It is the Yellow, it 

Now, then! Black Buzzard, quickly thou hast come to hsten; 
yonder in the Night Land thou art staying. Thou never failest 
in anything. It is merely the Yellow that has put the important 
thing under him. (But) that is the yery thing thou usually eatest. 
Where thou hast passed, only the traces of trampling vdW remain. 
Toward the direction of the Night Land thou hast driven it, in the 
Night Land thou hast scattered it. A mere likeness of it \vi]l remain 
where thou hast passed, (and) not for one night (only, but forever). 
Relief has been caused. Sharply! 

Now, then! The important thing is the brown Yellow. 

Now, then! Brown Eagle, thou art staying on high. Nothing 
ever escapes thy (sight). It is the Yellow that has put the important 
thing under him. Only the traces of trampling ■wdll remain; thou 
hast come to bury it into thy stomachs, (and) not for one night 
(only, but forever). Relief has been caused. Sharply! 


In this, as in most other formulas for this disease, the whole treat- 
ment consists of the application of the warm hands of the medicuie 
man. The ceremony, however, is peculiar. The medicine man 
recites the part referring to the raven while rubbing his hands to- 
gether over the fire, bringing them around in a circular sweep in 
imitation of the raven's manner when hovering over its prey. Then 
imitating the raven's cry, he utters a rapid k'a* k'a' k'a' k'a' and 
brings his hands down upon the abdom^en of the patient. He goes 
through the same motions while repeating the paragraph addressing 
the buzzard, but ends with a prolonged su:+ su:+ to imitate the 
swishing noise made by the wing of the buzzard in its ordinary flight, 
followed, as he brings his hands down, by a rapid gw5° gwo° gw5° 
to imitate the sound on rising. In the same way, while addressing 
the eagle, he imitates its movements and its cry. The ceremony 
is repeated four times before noon; there is no taboo. 

This formula consists of three paragraphs only, rather an unusual 
number in Cherokee ritual ; it is probable that in the course of repeated 
copying it has lost a fourth paragraph. This has happened to more 
than one formula. 





this, and 


it swelling, 

tsi;'nttl9'r)a' ^* 

they are sick with 

wood, green 

tsi'yii' I 



to use with it 



ustf'ca I siili' 

it little (persimmon) 

they are bitter, and 



vne' G9 

it white 








to smoke with 


this here, L 

a Ga'no .1 

it boiled 

GliGi" D8 

it taken out 
of the (liq) 


by itself, and 

no" ya 





a part of it has 
been taken 


he must drink it, L 

sunaJe' ".1 

in the morning 




he to vomit with 




they begin T L 


he to vomit 
with it 

vs6'{Il ^O-n*0' u-'Datso-'bt'H'5tr 



it taken out 
of the (liq)' 

this here 


he should smoke himself 
with it 

vne' G8 


no" ya 


Gc-y9. 1 



to use with it 


to cure with 






it has been 

V nine" GO -a 

their skin L 


it which tells 


remarkable E 

This is (for) When They Are Sick With a Swelling 


Small alder, common persimmon, sycamore, chokecherry, poplar, 
cucumber tree, when boiled (poured) on a rock taken out of the 
water, to smoke (i. e., to steam) (the patient) with; and (just this) 
by itself. Another (way) also (to cure) this, is (to drink it) to vomit 
with it; at the beginning he must drink it in the morning and vomit 
with it at noon; in the evening, then, he should steam himself with 
it, using a white rock taken out of the stream. The symptoms are 
that their skins are yellow. This medicine here described is a re- 
markably (efficacious one) indeed. 


This is a prescription for the treatment of a form of indigestion 
or biliousness, attended by a swelling of the abdomen and yellow- 
ness of the skin. The remedy is a sweatbath. A decoction is pre- 
pared of six varieties of barks, and is poured upon one or more stones 
(the number depending on their size), taken out of the river. The 
stones are heated in a fire, and the decoction poured on them produces 
an abundant steam. (See p. 61.) 

^c W. D. form; W. Dial. -tl->C. Dial. -ts-. 
" Emendation by editor. 



[Bull. 99 

For some ritualistic reason it is specified that the stones used must 
be white. In some cases a portion of the decoction is first drunk as 
an emetic. Ay. stated that the sickness is caused by tcsGO"'ya or 
insects, which were formerly parasites of snakes and are sent into the 
body of the patient in revenge for some oft'ense given to those reptiles. 

The barks used are those of ttse'!i ustt-'ca, a variety of Alnus 
serrulata Willd., red alder; suh', Diospyros virginiana L., common 
persimmon; t*aya', Prunus virginiana L., chokecherry; k'u*'wa 
i;ne-'G9, Platanus occidentalis, sycamore, buttonwood; tsi'yu', Li- 
riodendron tulipifera L., tulip tree, poplar, whitewood; tsi;''yo°/sti, 
Magnolia acuminata L., cucumber tree. 


tsv'na.st9Go'!i Dt'k'ang'Vo'tT 

whenever they have to cure them with 
their (feet) frostbitten 

tcf^-tsi.-"wa'ya' (4 times). 

I, I wolf 

tci''-tst-'tsi;*la' (4 times). 

I, I fox 

tcf^-tst-.a*wfya' (4 times). 

I, I deer 

tct*'-tsi*-si'kwa' (4 times), 

I, I, opposum 


to imitate it 

uti.s9"'.i I 

when it is 


where they have their 
(feet) frost bitten 


by itself 



whenever he has 
frost bitten (feet) 


that what it calls 


every time when it is 

t GaWf 'stl 

is to be called 


every time 


they must be sucked 

To Cure Them When They Have Their Feet Frost Bitten 


I, I am a wolf (4 times). 
I, I am a fox (4 times). 
I, I am a deer (4 times). 
I, I am an opossum (4 times). 

Each time, at the end, the cry of each (animal) is to be imitated 
and cried; (and) also every time, at the end, they ^^ must be sucked 
at their feet where they are frost bitten. 


This is another formula for the cure of frostbite. (See Nos. 59, 60.) 
[As it was obtained by Ay. from Ut. no additional information could 
be obtained on it.] The treatment is probably the same as previously 

*8 interpolated by editor. 

^8 The patients. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 299 

described, the sucking being done by the medicine man, who holds 
ice or snow water in his mouth. 

"I am a wolf" is properly tstwa*^ya' the initial syllable being 
doubled to fill in the meter of the song. "Deer" is properly a'wi', 
the final ya being added for the same reason. 

The opossum has now two names: uTy9*su'''Ga, and st*'kwa uDzc'tsti, 
the latter meaning Uterally "grinning hog." It seems probable, 
however, that si"kwa was originally the name of the opossum alone, 
and that, on account of the resemblance of the two animals, the name 
was applied to the hog on its introduction by the whites, thus render- 
ing an [epithet] necessary to distinguish [the former from the latter]. 

(u'af "wa"s5*'la tsa'!?'' a'Da'nQ'WD'tT ^) 

this "cocoon" as they call it to cure anyone 

(Hab.) with 

waGu' (4 times). 


Ga-"wu' {4 times). 

it is pul- 

sa'na' (4 times). 

This is the Medicine (for) What They Call "Cocoons" 


Cocoon! (4- times). 
Pulverized! (4 times). 
sana (?) (4 times). 


"wa'so"la is the name of a small species of "horned " caterpillar, 
and also of the tobacco worm, as well as of a butterfly or moth orig- 
inating from one of the larvse named. The name is also applied by 
medicine men to a pecidiar chiUing boil or swelHng, because it resem- 
bles the same chillirg or shuddering effect as that resulting from 
contact with the larvae. Presumably the worm so constantly trodden 
and crushed under the careless foot of man is held responsible for the 
boil. The treatment consists in merely pressing the previously 
warmed thumb upon the swelling, repeating four times each of the 
words of the formula. [It has taken considerable effort to get the 
meaning of the first two words. As for sa'na', it has not been possible 
to find out its meaning or to analyze it, the most erudite medicine 
men themselves being in the dark about these three words.] 

^ Interpolated by J. M., probably based on information by Ay. 



I 'tV a'ntskD*'li a' Da' ng^'wo'tT 

this their head to cure anyone 


(a) Galg^'ldi Dant'la-"wt.a' | *a'-no'Gwo^ i;'sonic''li iitst"-nawa 

above they are assembling ha, now quickly beyond it, 


aDo''nfGa' | 'ya*' 

it has been said Sharply! 

(6) f'bDi' Dant'la'^wi.a' (etc.). 

below they are assembling 

This is the Medicine for Their Head 


On high they are assembling; ha, now relief has quickly been 
caused . Sharply ! 

Below they are assembling; ha, now relief has quickly been caused. 
Sharply ! 


The medicine man from whom this formula was obtained had in 
turn procured it from a medicine woman, and was unable to tell much 
about it. It is therefore impossible to say what spirits are referred 
to as being assembled, or whether they are the disease curers or the 
remedial agents. In many formulas the spirits are represented as 
having assembled as in council, sometimes under the couch of the 
patient, sometimes even in his body. 

No medicine is used, the treatment merely consisting in rubbing 
the forehead of the patient after every paragraph, and afterwards 
blowing the breath four times over the aching part. This, repeated a 
number of times — [no rigid rule is followed] — is said to be effective. 


!i'a' t'v'yA-sti' aua'^np^'wo'tT 

this beans, (like) to cure anyone 



The formula bearing the heading "This is the medicine (for) a 
beanlike (boil) " is too evidently incomplete in the original to be given 
here, but deserves notice for the spirits invoked and the treatment 

The former are the Rattlesnake and the Puffing (Spreading) Adder, 
and the fragmentary expression of the formula seems to imply that 
the festering boil is the result of a bite from some disease snake, 
which must be driven out by the more powerful snakes invoked. 
The rattlesnake is mentioned under its proper name, iCDZ0"'N!ti, 


but the spreading adder, commonly called t'alt'ksta, "the vomiter," 
is spoken of here as kwa'ndayo'la, which literally means "he has 
just shot the plums (or peaches)." The meaning is plain but the 
Cherokee are unable to give any reason for the name, which may have 
a mythic origin. The medicine man had obtained the formula in an 
accidental manner from another man, which accounts for its incom- 

The medicine prescribed was tobacco juice rubbed on the boil by 
the medicine man while reciting the formula, when the swelling first 
made its appearance. The swelling was said to go down before dark. 

!t'a' Di;nQ-'lest?*'[.il T'andt'skg'.i' 

this it causes them to it which they call (Hab) 

be broken 

sGe" I no-'Gwo" 'a t'9r)a-'nfGa' *t'skuya' (sa*'k*o'm ^^) 

Now, then! now thou hast come thou man blue 

to listen 

*iDa-'"we!t'-Dfn5"' | DtOe^'Jo'seH' | k*o*'la uWe'^stoso^'t-GWo"^ 

thou wizard, L thou penetratest them, bone it has been made L (=E) 

App painful 

Ge-'se-°.i' I u'Dtle^Gt-GWo''' i;-'DOt*ano!'i Ge'se'^.i' | no-'Gwu- 

it is, App heat, L it has been said it is, App now 

-dl-'uq De*'t^ask8lo-"o°Ha'nt-Ga' k*o-'la Ge's^*' | DeGQ-'le'tsa*- ^ 

E thou hast come to make him bone it is, T L he will get on his 

relinquish his grasps 

m.'se'sti' | Dtst*-naW8-Gwo"' ni;'^D9t'an9-'D8 I no''*'t'9ne''lfGa' | 

(legs) as he goes beyond it, stretched, L (=E) it has been said at thou hast come to do 

on the same time it for him 

sGc" I no-'Gwo" a°le" *o''"stat*9-'r)a-nfGa' stt'skiiya' sti'GaGe*"' 

Now, then, now also you 2 have again come you 2 men you two red 

to listen 

u'sonv'li De'sttDo^'st'Ga' | i;*lsGe*'Da t't^sta'se^so't'ca' ko"'la 

quickly you two have come and it important you two have come and bone 

halted pulled it out 

G€"S9'' I tsu'le^t'satQ"' a'no'nt^se'sti' uwo*\so'n5''i aDa'N^to' I 

it is, T L he has been lifted up it will be said it has been made the soul 

all along pleasing 

i;tst"-naw9-Gwo^' aDo''nt"Ga' ^^ 

beyond it, stretched, it has been said 
L (=E), 

This Is (For) What They Call "It Causes Them To Be Broken" 


Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Blue Man, thou 
powerful wizard, thou penetrator. The fact is that the bone has 
been made painful. It is merely Heat that has caused it, it seems. 
But now thou hast come to force him ^^ to give up his hold from the 
bone. He^^ wiU get on his feet (and will not stop walldng). Rehef 
has been caused forthwith; thou hast come to do it for him.^^ 

" Interpolated by J. M. ^^ xhe disease. ^ The patient. 


Now, then! (and) now you both in your turn, you have come to 
listen, you Two Red Men; quickly you have come and halted. You 
have come and pulled out the important thing from the bone. He 
has been raised up, and will remain in that position. The soul has 
been made pleasing. Relief has been caused. 


This formula is for the cure of pains in the limbs, resembling 
rheimiatic pains, but ascribed to the influence of the Heat spirit. 

By an oversight [of a copyist in the course of transcription] the color 
of the spirit invoked in the first paragraph is not given, but as the 
[disease causer] is Heat, the remedial spirit is probably the spirit of 
Cold, viz, the Blue Man of the Cold Land. 

No medicine is used ; the medicine man merely rubs the Hmbs of the 
patient mth his hands previously warmed, while reciting the formula, 
blowing four times at the end of each paragraph. The ceremony is 
four times repeated. 


IiV i;yo-'°.i i;''nskrts9*'.i 

this different they have dreamt 

sGe" I + + Go'lstutH I + + tsuDO-'.toa' | tso-'"sta aGa- 

Now, then, (such-and- his clan (such-and- his names they are good he 

such) such) 

ne-la-'ne'f.i' | Ga'tlo^'^'' GQ-Vutlt'o't'sti tso-'"sta ane'^ltski' \ 

has apportioned where he is staying they good he apportions (II ab) 

for him, App. 

SGe" I 'a-'no-Gwo"^' 'a't'^qa-'ufGa' I Do-'yi WO-'DtGe'"' 

Now, then, ha, now thou hast come to listen Beaver brown 

5tS0*'"st8 aGa'ne'la-'ne'e'.i' | nD"'GWU-Dt'n8' Ga'n9Gf'D8 aDo''nt-Ga' I 

they good he has apportioned for now, E it taken up it has been said 

him, App. 

+ + tSDD0"'.tD8' I aye*'la tso''"st8 Ga'n9Gt"'D9 aDo'^nfGa' | 

(such-and- his names are the body they good it taken up it has been said 

such) i 

y9'wi' tsu'tsat-9"' lj&'dq w'ane''ttant"Ga' tso""'st9 I + + 

human they are many yonder there, thou hast apportioned they are good (such and 

beings T L " for him such) 

tSi;D0*'.iD9 I uDa'N^to' a'stuDe"'D9 aDo'^UfGa' | uDaN^to' 

his names are his soul it released it has been said his soul 

Da'°le't'sa'nfGa' | aDaN^to' aste*'Dahy9''D9 aDo'^nfGa' | 

it has been lifted up it soul it has been changed it has been said 

10 oDaN^to' Da'^k'i'sa'nfGa' 

it soul it has been lifted up 

SGe" I + + Golstli'th I 4- + tSyD0-'.(D9' tS0-'"st9 aGa- 
Now, then, (such and his clan (such and his names are they good he has 

such) such) 

ne'la'ne'e-.i' | Gatlo°' ^^ G^'wutlt'o't'sti tso-'st9 alle-'ltski' | 
apportioned' for where he is staying they good he apportions 

him (Hab) 

5« W. D. form; C. D.: Ga-tsS° 5^ cf. Note 54. 

oIbrechts] the swimmer MANUSCRIPT 303 

sGe" I DO*'yi tsune*'Ga tso*'GtDi-'tl5°^^ Dt'tso'tH'o'i'sti | 

Now, then, Beaver thou white at head of stream thou art staying 

i;'soni;"'li Do't*a°le''or)a' tso''sta aoa'ne-la-'ne'e-.i' no-'^GWu-Dfng' 

quickly thou hast arisen, they good he has apportioned now, E 

facing us for him 

Ga'naGf'D8 aDo''m*Ga' | ane*'tl:ano'!i tso''"st8 a'sti^De''Da 

it taken up it has been said it has been they good it released 


aDo""nfGa' I yo'wi' tSi;""'DZat-0"' aDt^Gale'^yaDQ*' aDO*'ni'Ga' | 

it has been said human they are, many it has been scattered it has been said 

beings T L 

tGQ'Vulsto.'tt-GWo"' aDa"N*to' aste"'DaltyQ*'Da aDo''nfGa' 1 

who cares what happens it soul it has been changed it has been said 

to it, L 

uWo'*iSO''no'!i aDa'N^to' Da^le'^Sa'nfGa' | GoikwO'^Gt i"'ya'Ga- 

it made completely it soul it has been lifted up seven successive, 


Ig'ldi W^t^a'^'le't'sa'm'Ga' aDa'N'to' | 'ya* 
above thither, thou hast lifted it soul Sharply 

it up 

This Is (For) When They Have Bad Dreams 


Now, then! He ^^ belongs to such-and-such a clan; he ^^ is called 
so-and-so. He^^ has apportioned evil ^^ for him;^^ where is the (one 
who) usually apportions evil staying? 

Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to listen, Brown Beaver. He^^ 
has apportioned evil for him.^'' But now it has been taken; he ^^ is 
called so-and-so. The evil has been taken away from his ^^ body. 
Yonder where there is a crowd of human beings thou hast gone to 
apportion the evil. He " is called so-and-so. His " soul has become 
released. His soul has been hfted up. The soul has become changed. 
The soul has been hfted up. 

Now, then! He belongs to such-and-such a clan; he is called so- 
and-so. He has apportioned evil for him; where is the (one who) 
usuallj^ apportions evil staying? 

Now, then! Thou White Beaver, at the head (waters) of the 
stream thou art staying; quickly thou hast arisen, facing us. He 
has apportioned evil for him. But now it has been taken away. 
The evil (which) has been apportioned for hun has been released. It 
has been scattered where there is a crowd of hrman beings (living). 
Who cares what happens to it! The soul has been changed. The 
soul, made pleasing, has been hfted up. Up to the seventh upper 
(world) the soul has been raised. Sharply! 

56 W. D. form; C. D. tso'^GiDt*'Dzo° ^^ The apportioner of evil. 

" The patient. 59 Literally "good." 

7548°— 32 21 



This formula [edited and discussed by Mr. Mooney in his article 
on Cherokee River Cult, p. 9] is for going to water to avert the 
consequences of bad dreams, such as of falling from a cliff, drowning 
in the river, or being crushed under a log. Such dreams are generally 
regarded as the result of hostile conjurations of some secret enemy, 
and it is held that the calamity thus shadowed forth will actually 
befall (the victim) imless some ceremony be performed to avert it. 

The medicine man mentions the name and clan of his client and 
endeavors to send the evil fortune from him, to "where [there is a 
crowd of] people," i. e., to some distant settlement. 

The medicine man and his client go down to the water at daybreak 
and stand at the edge of the stream as already described. The 
medicine man then recites the formula, after which his client, stripped 
with the exception of his shirt, wades out into the water and ducks 
under seven times. At the seventh plunge he tears the shirt from 
his body while still under water and lets it float down the stream. It 
is afterwards secured and taken by the medicine man as his fee if it 
is worth the trouble. If of no value the client gives other cloth 
instead. After this preliminary ceremony the client remains standing 
in the water while the medicine man, on the bank, takes out his beads 
and proceeds to banish the impending calamity. 

He first asks [his cUent] to what [settlement] he wishes to send the 
evil foreshadowed in the prophetic dream, for it is held that such 
dreams must be fulfilled, and that all the medicine man can do is to 
divert their accompUshment from the intended victim. The client 
names some distant settlement as the place where he wishes the blow 
to fall and the medicine man at once begins the ceremony to send 
the tso''st9 to that point. Shoidd the medicine man find himself 
unable to send it so far his cHent names some nearer settlement, and a 
second attempt is made, and so on, until a resting place is found for 
the calamity, even if it be necessary to send it to another clan or 
family within the settlement of the client himself. These successive 
trials are made by "worldng [with] the beads": [The medicine man 
holds a black bead representing the evil between thumb and fore- 
finger of one hand, and a red or white bead, representing the client, 
between thumb and index finger of the other hand. Should the 
black bead prove the more lively and vivacious in its movements, 
the client's bead remaining motionless, or moving only very slowly, 
the chances for banishing the evil to the settlement in question are 
very scanty, and another settlement has to be named and the opera- 
tion has to be started over again.] 

After each successive trial the client stoops down and laves his 
face [sometimes also the crown of his head and his breast with water 





dipped out with his hand]. Should the medicine man [after all his 
ejfforts] not succeed in sending the evil fortune to some other victim 
it is believed that his chent must suffer. 

Each trial with the beads necessitates the laying down of additional 
cloth, all of which is taken by the medicine man at the conclusion of 
the ceremony [as his fee]. To make assurance doubly sure [to check 
up, as if it were, on the results of the first day], the ceremony is some- 
times performed for four consecutive mornings; in each case the 
client fasts until noon, although it is not necessary to keep awake 
throughout the preceding night as in some other ceremonies of a 
similar nature. 

Should all other means fail there still remains one resource: the 
dreamer kills [a hog, or some poultry] belonging to himself, and has it 
cooked to be eaten by his family and friends. He himself, however, 
must not partake of it. In former times, [if it proved not possible] 
to send the calamity away from his own settlement, [the one who 
dreamed] went hunting and Ivilled a deer or a bear, with which he 
made a feast in the same way for his friends and neighbors of the 

[These latter means of averting the evil consequences of bad 
dreams are no longer known.] 






ama''-yi a'Dzo°.st'.s5.ti' 

water, Loc. to take one there 


I 'a"'no'Gwo'' 

oneseh' — L. 


to help one with 


thou art staying 


ha, now 





the soul 

thou hast come to 

't'ste'lt'ski' I 
thou helpest 


thou relinquishest thy 

yo' wi Ga na f na 

human long 

ts'A'ska^lo'^^sti' ntGe''=- 

thou relinquishest thy never 

ntG€-'so-na' | Go'u'sti 

never something 


thou wilt take a 
firmer grasp 

f Ga-Ga*DO* 

light, it hangs on, 
T. L. 


thou hast 

am a 



it slides, T. L. 

ngno- Gwaou' yo noa 

I originated in the distance 



Gt'tli vne"'GO 



f no ntGe' sq'bq 

far away never 

^'ye'lo"' Ge"SQ"' 

thy body it is, T. L. 


it will cling to my head as I go about 

G9'°kwso°GU°ldt'tSt'tsti' Ge-se'sti' 

it to come into my extended (hand) it will 

UQDQ- GWaDO ya= 

I will stretch out my 

aDy'Mo'^st'anfca' | i'Vo"= 

it has come to wash itself foam 

aDo-'lano"' i;ne''= 

walking stick white 

0""ya' aGWat*i'ya= 


left over for me 

a'Da"N!to' I 
the soul 





Fire it will 

Wi-Da°l€'tSa*nt"Ga' 10 
over there he has come 
to rise up 



This is to Take Oneself to the Water with, to Help Oneself 


Now, then! Ha, now thou hast come to Usten, thou Long Human 
Being, thou art staying (right here?) thou Helper of human beings. 
Thou never lettest go thy grasp ; thou never lettest go thy grasp from 
the soul. Thou hast, as if it were, taken a firmer grasp upon (the 
soul). I originated at the cataract, not so far away. I will stretch 
out my hand to (where thou art). (My soul) has come to bathe 
itself in thy body. The white foam will cling to my head as I walk 
(along the path of life), the white staff v*all come into my extended 
hand. The fire (of the hearth) will be left (burning) for me inces- 
santly. The soul has been hfted up successively to the seventh upper 


[This formula for going to water was tentatively edited by James 
Mooney in his discussion of the Cherokee River Cult, p. 2.] 

It is for the purpose of obtaining long Hfe, and the ceremony may 
be performed either by the medicine man for the benefit of his chent 
or by the client him.self on his own behalf. It may be performed 
[whenever] desired, the favorite time being at each new moon. The 
patient, often accompanied by all the members of his household, goes 
down to the stream before sunrise, and while still fasting. Whether 
he recites the formula himself, or whether this is left for the medicine 
man to do, the ceremony is the same. The client [and those accom- 
panying him, dip out water with the hollow of their hand. This is 
the action referred to in the expression: "I will stretch out my hand 
to where thou (Long Human Being, i. e., the stream, the Water) 
art."] They wash [their face, the crown of] their head and their 
breast [** where their soul is"] and may even step into the stream and 
completel}^ duck under seven times, if they so desire. 

The formula is addressed to the "Long Human Being," the stream, 
the river, the flowing water, and who is called the "helper of man- 
kind." [In many of the formulas the "Long Human Being" is 
referred to as having originated at the cataract, and this is doubt- 
lessly the reason why the reciter claims for himself the same origin; 
this estabhshes a close and intimate relationship between him and 
the spirit invoked, and all but forces the latter to pay heed to the 
requests of his relative.] 

The idea to be conveyed by the latter part of the formula is that 
the supphant, having bathed in the stream, comes out with the wliite 
foam [i. e., gray hairs, old age] clinging to his head, and taking the 
white [walking stick], or staff [an attribute of old people or chiefs?], 
in his hands, starts on his journey to the seventh upper-world [i. e.. 




if they urinate 

u'msko-H' 1 so./ 

their heads, Loc the other 


it little 


it which 

the summum of human happiness, prosperity, and success. Surely, 
he will live to be old, for "the fire of the hearth will be left for him 
(until his old age), to warm and to protect him"]. 

The expression wiDa^'^le't'sa'nfca' implies that the subject [now has 
been lifted up to the seventh upper world] after having lain [supine 
as sick or tired for some time] . From this stem the missionaries have 
[formed the expression expressing the Christian concept] of resurrec- 


!t'a' n9'\vo'tH' une-'ca 

this to cure with white 

u'^st^AGa'^ii' I u''G-at'aSGf'sGi j 
if leaning against pus, it oozes out (Hab) 

v^'st'AGa^li' I so"-'le'%vo^' ustf'Ga 

it leaning against the other, how- it little 

ever also Is 

This is the Medicine When They Urinate White (Matter) 


Flowering spurge, spurge, viper's bugloss, and the other small 
flowering spurge; the other one (i. e., the first one) is also small. 


In this prescription we are given only the names of the plants used, 
four in number, viz, i;*'st^AGa°li', Euphorbia corollata L., flowering 
spurge; u^'st^ACa^li' vst^'ca, (?); i;"'Gat'as=Gi''sGi, Euphorbia hyperi- 
cifolia L., spurge; u'ntskoH', Echium vulgare L., viper's bugloss, 
blueweed, blue devil. 

In severe cases Gf'G9 tsiya^M, Lysimachia quadrifolia L., loosestrife, 
is added to the prescription. 

Ay. explained that the roots are steeped in warm water and the 
infusion drunk. The infusion is kept warm near the fire. 

*t'a' n9"'wo*t'i' i'n9*'Di tsa"'ndfk'o'!a° 

this to cure with milk it which they urinate 

vnt'kwa' I itseH' I Gv'lsto.ti' i;Ga"'nawo''D8' | u'ndt"- 

(purple?) green to steep it with warm they must 

t^a.sti' i;r)0"'taGwuD9' | t'a'^lfiie'' foa' | tso''fne*'°-N!?^ 

drink it all day second noon third and 

v'Dalvlo.'i' fGa' I no'^^Gtue''" a'se" tst'Dutlsta-'yo^o^'skeGwo^" 

it has not com- noon fourth it must when the meal is being taken, L 

pleted itself 

v'nulsta-''y'ti' | Ga-kt*9*'D0 no'^Gi' tsi;*so"tD9 u-'ntle^Gi 

let them partake of restricted four they nights-been hot 

the meal 

aPle a"ma' | a^skuya' aPVe^ a'Ge'"y5°' i;"yO''.t-GWO°^ 

and salt man and woman different, L(=E) 


This is the Medicine When They Urinate Milky (Substance) 


Black gum (and) alder steeped with it, warm; they must drink 
it all day; the second (day, until) noon; and the third (day until) 
noon has not completed itself; the fourth (day), let them eat along 
with the others; restricted (are during) four nights hot (food) and salt; 
(intercourse between) the man and the woman is very bad. 


The characteristic symptoms of this sickness were given as a dis- 
charge of milky urine, preceded or accompanied by frequent dis- 
charges of dark red urine, together with pains in the lower part of 
the back and pelvic region, and perspiration about the private parts. 
It is considered a more serious form of urinary disease than any 
previously mentioned. The patient drinks a warm infusion of the 
inner bark of imi'^kwa, Nyssa multiflora Wang., black gum; ttse'H, 
Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng., smooth alder, the bark being taken 
from the root just above the ground on the east side of the tree. 
The patient drinks the medicine at intervals [ad libitum] during the 
whole of the first day, until noon on the second day, until about 10 
a. m. the third day, and until just before breakfast the fourth day, 
which completes the course of treatment. 

The taboo includes salt, hot food, and sexual intercourse. 

!t'a' yi;^Da*N*t€*'ks5° a'skwaniGo-'to.ti'-jd" I !t"aGw5'' na'nt- 

this if a tooth comes off to store it up with, E this, L they have 

we'sk^-'.i I Do'ji sktN!t'5°' (4 times) 

been said (Ilab) beaver put a tooth 

into my (jaw) 

This is, When a Tooth Comes Out, to Throw it Away With 


This is all that has to be said: "Beaver, put a tooth into my 

jaw!" (4 times). 


The knowledge of this bit of folklore was first obtained [by Mr. 
Mooney] thi'ough a young mixed blood from the Cherokee Nation in 
the west, who said that when, in early childhood, his milk teeth were 
being replaced by permanent teeth his Cherokee mother had told 
him to throw the loosened teeth upon ^° the roof of the house, asking 
the beaver at the same time to give him a new one instead. He could 
not remember the details, but on asking Ay. about the matter he at 

uIbkechts] the SWIMJMER MANUSCRIPT 309 

once confirmed the statement, giving the words as above, which the 
cliild repeats four times while running around the house, after which 
he throws the old tooth upon^° the roof. He had not the formula 
written down, as it is a well-known folklore custom, and in no way a 
secret matter. As the beaver is noted for its gnawing powers, there 
is a good Indian reason for asldng it for a set of new teeth. 

[Although a similar belief and formula is very common through 
almost all Europe (where, however, mice and rats are addressed instead 
of the beaver), there is no necessity to consider this Cherokee practice 
as borrowed from the whites.] 

60 "Over the roof," my informant told mie. — Editok. 



Abortion, attitude toward 117 

Accidents, belief concerning 17 


AcTAEA ALBA, use of 277 

Adiantum PEDATUM, use of 228 

Aesculus pavia, use of 239 

After life, beliefs concerning 140-144 
Agrimonia parviflora, use of- 274 

Agrimony, use of 274 

Alder — 

cultivation of 91 

medicinal use of 185, 

216, 218, 219, 246, 257, 298, 308 
Alnus rugosa — 

cultivation of 91 

use of 185, 

216, 218, 219, 246, 257, 308 

Alnus serrulata, use of 185, 

219, 298 
Amelanchier canadensis, use 

of 283 

Ampelopsis cordata, use of _ 254, 283 
Amulets, sickness averted by-_ 74 
Anatomy, lack of knowledge of_ 90 
Animal ghosts, disease caused 

by 27,182,207 

Animal spirits, belief in 25 

Animals, beliefs concerning 27 

Ants, belief concerning 174 

Aplectrum hiemale, use of 128 

Apoplexy, formula for 230 

Aristolochia macrophylla, 

use of 288 

Aristolochia serpentaria, use 

of 177, 224, 286 

Arrowhead used for scarifying. 69 
Asarum canadense, use of-- 209, 252 

Babies, medicated bath for 76 

Ball game, part taken in, by 

medicine man 91 

Bark — 

decoction of, used in sweat- 
bath 297 

medicinal use of 185, 

198, 199, 200, 218 
Baths, sweat and vapor 61 

Beads — 

use of, in diagnosis 41 

use of, in divination.- 59, 152, 304 

used in prognosis 42 

Beliefs — 

changes in 77-78 

traced to white influence 78-79 

Betula LENTA, use of 102 

Betula nigra, use of 200 

Big Cove, work conducted at- - 7 

Biliousness, formula for 297 

Birth, customs connected with- 116- 

Black gum tree — 

use of bark of 218 

use of roots of 283,308 

Black Man, belief in 24 

Blisters, formulas for__ 167, 210, 250 
Blowing tube, use of, in medi- 
cine 58, 60 

Blue Man, power of 24 

Boas, Franz, acknowledgment 

to XV 

Boils — 

preventive of 77 

treatment for 299, 300-301 

Botany, medicine man's knowl- 
edge of 88,89 

Botrychium virginianum, use 

of 177 

Bowel troubles, formulas for- 167, 

274, 284 

Bugbane, white, use of 277 

Bulrush — 

cultivation of 91 

medicinal use of 198 

Burial customs 121, 122, 134-140 

Burs, symbolic use of 101 

Button snakeroot, use of 76 

Buzzard, dead, used as a pro- 
phylactic 76 

Cabins, Cherokee, manner of 

building 292 

Calamus, use of 288 

Calycanthus fertilis, use of__ 253 





Camptosorus rhizophyllus, 
use of 209 

Cardinal flower — 

cultivation of 91 

use of 216 

Carpinus caroliniana, use of_ 200, 


Castanea pumila, use of 200 

Catamenial customs 34—35, 

97, 101, 246 

Cemetery, location chosen for_ 136 

Ceremony — 

for pregnant women. 195,118-119 

of going to the water 118-119, 

233-235, 291, 306 

Charms, sickness averted by 74 

Cherokee dialects 10 

Cherokee Indians — 

attitude of, toward whites. . 8 

present life of 8 

Cherokee language, study of _ 10 

Cherokee manuscripts and 

MATERIAL, loSS of 1 

Cherokee text, method of re- 
constituting 3-5 

Cherry, wild, use of 170, 275 

Child life 128-131 

Childbirth — 

complications in 125 

customs connected with-- 122-127 

formulas to aid in 167, 

274, 278-279 

medicine used in 53, 119 

Children — 

clothing of 128 

food of 128 

formula for 284 

games of 129 

hygienic condition of 128-129 

intelligence of 129 

method of carrying 129 

naming of 127 

trained to become witches. 129-130 

Chills, formulas for 167, 

169, 200, 227, 277 
Chinquapin, medicinal use of _ 200, 211 

Chokecherry, use of 170, 

199, 277, 298 

Cicuta maculata, use of 117 

Cimicifuga racemosa, use of-_ 277 
Circumambulation in treat- 
ment of disease 63-64 

Clematis virginiana, use of. . 288 

Clethra acuminata, use of.. 192, 218 

Clothing — 

of a corpse 134 

women's, manner of wear- 
ing 247 

Coffin maker, office of 136 

Cohosh, black, use of 277 

Collinsonia canadensis, use 

of 209 

Color symbolism 51 

Community spirit among the 

Cherokee 80-81 

Conception, Cherokee belief 

concerning 116-117 

Conjurations — 

against witches 152 

agricultural 152-153 

for curing 151 

for hunting and fishing 153 

for using tobacco 151 

formulas used in, with 

beads 152 

use of the term 149 

Contraceptives — 

attitude toward 117 

Cherokee knowledge of - _ 117-118 

Cornus FLORIDA, use of 199,283 



CowBANE, use of 117 

C. R. B. Educational Founda- 
tion (Inc.), New York, 

acknowledgment to xv 

Cucumber tree, use of 298 

Culture, Cherokee, loss of 

knowledge of 78 

Curing — 

methods used in 60-64 

procedure in 67-68 

See also Diseases; Formu- 
las; Medicine; Sur- 
Cynoglossum virginianum, use 

of 174 

Cypripedium parviflorum, use 

of 249 

Cystopteris fragilis, use of.- 228 

Dances after burials 139 

Dasystoma flava, use of 193 

Dasystoma virginica, use of- - 244 
Death — 

customs connected with.- 131-134 
foretelling of. 133 



Deer, diseases caused by ghost 

of 28 

Del., a medicine man, charac- 
terized 115-116 

Denstaedtia punctiloba, use 

of 228 

Dentistry — 

among the Cherokee 72 

See also Toothache. 

Dewberry, medicinal use of 253 

Diagnosis of disease 39-41 

Diarrhea — 

diet for 65 

formula for 193, 244, 282 


pestle made of wood of 293 

use of 275,298 

Diphtheria, formula for 254, 261 

Dipper, gourd, use of, by medi- 
cine man 58 

Diseases — 

causes of 15—16,17—39 

change in conception of 77-80 

Cherokee conception of 14-16 

contagious, cause of 39 

contagious, safeguard 

against 75 

curing methods in 60-64, 67-68 

efficacy of treatment of 81-83 

number of, known to the 

Cherokee 89 

prevention of 73-77 

transferring of 62-63 

treatment of 39-83 

See also Formulas; Medi- 
cine; Sickness. 

Dislocations, treatment of 72 

Divination — 

by means of beads 132 

procedure in 93-94 

Divinator, activities of 86 

Dogs, medicine given to 30 

Dogwood, medicinal use of 199, 283 

Dreams — 

as a cause of disease 35-37,40 

belief concerning 15 

formula for 246 

interpretation of 36-37 

nightmare, remedy for 176-177 

of ill omen, formula for 304 

snake, formulas for 167 

taboo concerning 178 

Dutchman's pipe, medicinal 

useof 288 

Dwarf iris, use of 288 

Dysentery, formula for 244 

Earache, formulas for 167 

EcHiuM vuLGARE, use of 307 

Edmunds, Mr. and Mrs. J. R., 

JR., acknowledgment to xv 

Election of coffin makers and 

grave diggers 135-136 

Emetics, use of 23 

Epidemics, Cherokee belief con- 
cerning 39 

Epigaea repens, use of 193, 252 

Eryngium virginianum, use of _ 245 
Eryngium yuccifolium, use of. 76 

Eryngo plants, use of 245 

Ethics, professional, of medi- 
cine men 93-95 

EuPATORiuM purpureum, use of 262 
Euphorbia hypericifolia, use 

of 180, 307 

Evergreens, belief concerning. 139 
Evonymus americanus, use of _ 253 
Eyes, formulas for treatment 

of 167,184-186,219 

Fainting, formulas for 167, 

192, 205, 224 
Fasting — 

by medicine man 66 

by patient 66 

efficacy of 83 

Fee of medicine man 95-97 

Ferns — 

medicinal use of 54, 228 

symbohsm of, in medicinal 

use 54,293 

Fetter bush, use of 220 

Fever, formulas for 167, 200, 243 

Fewkes, J. W., acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Fire — 

associated with sun 21 

association of, with disease. 21 

curative properties of 21 

prayers offered to 20 

profanation of 174 

Flax, medicinal use of 243 

Flint, place of, in Cherokee 

mythology 25 

Flowering spurge, use of 180 

Flux, formulas for 275-276 



Folklore, European, beliefs 

traceable to 78-79 

Food — 

buried with the dead 134 

for children 128 

Formulas — 

age of 163,294 

attitude toward 156, 1 62 

beliefs concerning 147, 156 

classification of 148 

directions for using. _ 157-158, 159 

exchange of 104 

kinds of 146-155 

method of keeping 104, 157 

method of writing 158 

origin of 146 

recited or sung 155 

sale of 147, 102-103, 105 

structure of 159 

term used for 144-146 

to avert evil 77 

vocabulary used in 163-164 

western dialect in 162 

Four, the sacred number 52, 199 

Foxglove, medicinal use of 244 

Fox GRAPE, use of 253 

Fractures, treatment of 71 

Frostbite — 

formulas for 1 67, 258, 298 

treatment for 258 

Fungus, use of 124 

Galpin, p. C, acknowledgment 

to XV 

Games of children 129 

Genito-urinary diseases, for- 
mulas for 167 

Gerardias, use of 192, 193, 273 

Ghosts — 

animal, activities of 26-27 

conception of 142 

human, activities of 26 

See also Spirits. 

Ginseng — 

collected and dried 91 

use of 171,230,289 

Gleditsia triacanthos, use of _ 239, 


Glycine apios, cultivation of 91 

Gnaphalium obtusifolium, use 

of 207, 262 

Go ATS rue, use of 128 

Golden Alexander, use of 102 

Goldenclub, use of 76 

Goldenrod, use of 275 

Gourd dipper, use of, by medi- 
cine man 58 

GRAvEbiGGERs, office of 136 

Graves, beliefs concerning 139-140 

Great LAUREL, use of 204,220 

Groundnut, medicinal use of 230 

Hazelnut, medicinal use of 218 

Headache — 

Cherokee belief concerning. 17 

formulasfor 167,171, 

188, 200, 224, 255, 289, 300 
Hellebore, American white — 

cultivation of 91 

use of 204,220 

Hemorrhage, treatment of 72 

Henderson, J., acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Hepatica acuttlobica, use of_ 209, 252 
Hickory bark, medicinal use 

of 260,273 

Hicoria alba, use of 260, 273 

Hoarseness, remedy for 199 

Hodge, F. W., acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Honey locust, medicinal use 

of 239, 249 

Hornbeam, medicinal use of 

bark of 200,265 

Horse BALM, use of 209 

Husbands, taboos for 121-122 

Hydrangea arborescens, medi- 
cinal use of 246 

Hydrangea cinebea, use of 192 

Immortality. See Soul. 

Impatiens biflora, use of__ 119, 125 

Incantations — 

for love attractions 154 

to cause separation 155 

to change an enemy 153 

to kill 154 

to produce unattractive- 

ness 155 

useoftheterm 149 

Indian physic, use of 204 

Indian pink, use of 214, 249 

Indian poke, use of 204 

Indigestion, formulas for 167, 

181, 186, 189-192, 217, 239, 
281, 297. 

Infants, medicated bath for 76 

Informants, Cherokee 9 

Inheritance of office 105 




Initiation of medicine man 99-104 

Insects, belief concerning 29 

Iris VERNA, use of 288 

Ironwood BARK, useof 200,265 

Itching, formula for 173, 286 

Jo., a medicine man, charac- 
terization of 113-114 

JoE-PYE-wEED, use of 262 

JuD., a medicine man, charac- 
terization of 114—115 

Jtjglans nigra, taboo concern- 
ing 120-121 

JUNCUS EFFUSUS, usc of 198 

Kalmia latifolia, use of 203, 220 

Kidney disease, formula for. 179, 199 
Knives, stone, Mohammedan 

use of 59 

Ladyslipper, medicinal use of.. 249 
Lambert, Jessie, acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Language — 

Cherokee, study of 10 

ritual 160-165 

Lappula virginiana, use of 174 

Laurel, used for scarification _ _ 70 
Legerdemain, use of, by medi- 
cine men 93, 94 

Leucothoe catesbaei, use of. 203, 220 

LiLiuM canadense, use of 128 

Limetree, medicinal use of 244 

LiNUM usiTATissiMUM, use of _ _ 243 


of 177, 286, 298 

Little People — 

beliefs concerning 25 

the cause of accidents 18 

Little Red Men, belief in 23, 24 

LivERLEAF, use of 209, 252 

Lobelia cardinalis — 

cultivation of 91 

useof 216 

Lobelia spicata, use of 226 

Loosestrife, use of 254, 307 

Louse wort, use of 275 

Love attraction, formulas used 

for 154 

Lysimachia quadrifolia, use 

of 254, 307 

Magnolia acuminata, use of- _ 298 

Malus malus, use of 199 

M an-kille rs — 

conception of 29 

methods of 33 

Massage, use of, in illness 62 


Mayflower, use of 252 

Measure worm, disease attrib- 
uted to 293 

Medical practitioners, num- 
ber of, among Cherokee 7 

Medical treatment, efficacy 

of 81-83 

Medicinal know"ledge, uncon- 

taminated by whites 78 

Medicine — 

administration of 56-57, 60 

animal elements in 52, 57 

Cherokee 52-59 

disposal of, after use 57 

external application of 60-61 

mineral elements in 57 

of the whites, Cherokee at- 
titude toward 108 

use of water in 57 

See also Diseases; Formu- 
las; Sickness. 

Medicine dance, object of 75 

Medicine men — 

activities of 85 

anatomical knowledge of__ 90 

assistance of, in childbirth. 123, • 


attitude toward 93 

botanical knowledge of 88, 89 

canonization of 88 

classes of 84-88 

fees of 95-97 

importance and influence 

of 83,92 

instruction for career of. _ 100-103 

paraphernalia of 58-59 

personalities of, described.. 109- 


place of, in warfare 91- 

professional ethics of 93-95 

qualifications for 99 

relations between 98 

scope of knowledge of 88-91 

sincerity of 93,95 

social status of 91-93 

status of, in ball game 91 

succession to office of 105 

supernatural power of 18- 

use of the term 84,85 

See also Divinators; 

Medicine men's society, ex- 
istence of, doubtful 97-98 

Medicine women, scarcity of.. 84 




Memory, medicine to aid 101 

Menstrual customs S4r- 

35, 97, 101, 246 

Midwife, activities of 87 

Milk taboo 179,199 

Moon, diseases caused by 22 

MooNEY, James — 

paper dedicated to xvii 

work of XVII, 2, 5, 6 

Mountain laurel, use of 203, 220 

Mountain people, the cause of 

accidents 18 

Mullein, use of 216, 255 

Myth of the Two Thunder 

Boys 197-198 

Names, change of, to cure dis- 
ease 63, 68 

Naming customs 127 

Nausea, formula for 245 


cultivation of 91 

use of 170,171,230,241,285 

Numbers, sacred 52 

Nyssa multiflora, use of 218, 

283, 308 

Nyssa sylvatica, use of 222 

Og., a medicine man, character- 
ization of 112-113 

Olbrechts, Margriet, ac- 
knowledgment to XV 

Omens — 

belief in 

of death 

Orientation in burials 

Orontium aquaticum, use of__ 
Osmunda cinnamomea, use of__ 

Owl, belief concerning 

Oxydendron arboreum, use of _ 









Pains, formulas for. 172, 202, 205, 216, 

220, 238, 252, 257, 266, 268, 302 

Panax trifolium — 

collected and dried 91 

use of 171, 202, 230, 289 

Paraphernalia of medicine man_ 58, 59 
Parsley, used as an abortive. _ 118 
Parturition. See Childbirth. 
Pedicularia canadensis, use of _ 275 
Persimmon, medicinal use of _ 275, 298 
Persimmon wood, stamper 

made of 293 

Petroselinum sativum, use of_ 118 
Phlox stolonifera, use of 277 

Phonetic symbols and abbre- 
viations 1 1-13 

Pickering, John, loss of manu- 
script by 1 

Pine — 

medicinal use of 119, 188 

use of, to purify dwellings. 139 

PiNus pungens, use of 119 

Pitcher plant, use of 101 

Placenta — 

disposal of 126 

means for expelling 126 

Plants, medicinal — 

collection of 55 

cultivation of 91 

gathering of 90, 91 

preparation of 55-57 

use of 53-54,82 

Platanus occidentalis, use of _ 200, 
244, 246, 298 

Poison ivy, medicinal use of 198 

POLYSTICnUM acrostichoides, 

use of 228 

Poplar, medicinal use of bark 

of 177, 286 

Portheranthus trifoliatus, 

use of 204 

Prayers — 

for gathering medicine 150 

for long life 150 

for protection 149-150 

use of the term 148 

Pregnancy- — 

beliefs concerning 35 

customs connected with. 118-122 
formula of ceremony for__ 195 

taboos connected with 18, 

Priber, Christian, lost manu- 
script by 1 

Priest — 

activities of 85-86 

use of the term 85 

See also Medicine men. 

Prognosis, Cherokee 41-42 

Property, buried with the dead. 134- 

Prunus pennsylvanica, useof- 275 

Prunus serotina, use of 170 

Prunus virginiana, use of 170, 

199, 277, 298 
Puffball, use of 124 



Purification rites, observance 

of 103-104, 138, 139 

Purple Man, associated with 

magic 24 

Putty root, use of 128 

Quercus alba, medicinal use of. 244 

Quercus FALCATA, use of 199 

Quercus mibricaria, use of — 199 
Quercus rubra, medicinal use 

of 244 

Quercus stellata, use of 200 

Rabbit, taboo concerning 120 

Rainmakers, almost extinct 87 

Raspberry, medicinal use of 246 

Rattle, restricted use of 59 

Rattlesnake, teeth of, used 

for scarification 70 

Rattlesnake fern, use of-- 176, 177 

Rattle WEED, use of 277 

Red buckeye, medicinal use of- 239 

Red oak, medicinal use of 244 

Reincarnation of animals 27-28 

Restrictions, observance of, to 

prevent sickness 73-74 

Rheumatism — 

diet for 65 

food taboos for 293 

formulas for 167, 196, 292 

remedy for 53-54 

treatment for 196 

Rhododendron maximum, use 

of 203, 204, 220 

Rhus copallina, use of 251 

Rhus glabra, use of 130, 251 

Rhus hirta, use of 251 

Rhus (toxicodendron) radi- 

CANs, use of 198 

RiCHWEED, use of 209 

Rite op purification, observ- 
ance of 103-104 

Ritual language — 

sources of 161-162 

use of 160-165 

River — 

beliefs concerning 22-23 

disease sent by 23 

ritual connected with 85 

symbolic conception of 191 

Roots — 

collected and dried 91 

water-growing, medicinal 

use of 247 


Rubus nigrobaccus, use of 253 

RuBUS occiDENTALis, use of 246 

Rubus strugosus, use of 246 

RuBUS viLLOSus, use of 253 

Sacred numbers — 

discussed 52 

in formula 199 

reference to 244 

use of, in medicine 54 

Saliva, belief concerning 15 

Salix alba, use of 199 

Salt — 

belief concerning 121 

placed in burials 134 

tabooed in sickness 64-65 

Sarracenia purpurea, use of-- 101 
Scarification — 

in treatment of ailments 69 

instruments used for 69-71 

of baU players 68-69, 70 

See also Scratching 

SciRPUS VALIDUS, usc of 198 

Scratching ceremony, for- 
mulas for 167,203,207,212 

Sequoya syllabary, use of 3-4 

Serviceberry, use of 283 

Sexual taboos 66 

Shadbush, use of 283 

Shaler, Millard H., acknowl- 
edgment to XV 

Shell, terrapin, use of 59 

Sickness — 

Cherokee attitude toward- 80-81 

seclusion in 83 

See also Diseases; 
Singing, Cherokee, character- 
istics of 155 

Skunk, use of, as a prophy- 
lactic 76 

Slippery elm, medicinal use of 119, 

Smallpox, preventives used 

against 76 

Snake bites, formulas for 167, 

176, 240 

Snake dreams, formulas for 167 

Snake tooth, used in scratching 

operation 203 

Snakeroot, black, use of 277 

Snakeroot, .Virginia, use of_ 177, 286 




Snakes — 

attitude toward 185 

belief concerning 185 

reverence for 177 

SoLiDAGO, use of 275 

Sore eyes, formulas for 167 

Sorrel-tree, use of 283 

Soul — 

beliefs concerning 16, 117 

Cherokee conception of_ 140-141 

survival of 142-143 

SotTRWooD, use of 222, 283 

Speck, Frank G., acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Specularia perfoliata, use of _ 239 

Speedwell, common, use of 277 

Spigelia marilandica, use of. 214, 249 
Spirits — 

animal, belief in 25 

anthropomorphic, of the 

Cherokee 19-25 

beUef in power of 19-29 

disease-causing 42-50 

eliminating disease 43-50 

Spotted cowbane, use of 117 

Spurge, use of 180,307 

Squirrel, taboo concerning 120 

Stamper, persimmon-wood, use 

of 59, 62 

Standley, Paul C, acknowl- 
edgment to XV, 6 

Stirling, M. W., acknowledg- 
ment to XV 

Stomach trouble — 

baby's, formula for 284 

See also Indigestion. 

Stone knives, Mohammedan 

use of 59 

Sucking HORN, use of 72-73 

Suicide rare among Cherokee.- 144 

Sumac, medicinal use of 130, 251 

Summer grape, use of 253,283 

Sun — 

association of, with disease. 20-21 

beliefs concerning 19-21 

prayers offered to 20 

Surgery in Cherokee curing 

methods 68-73 

SwANTON, John R., acknowl- 
edgment to XV 

SwAYNEY, work conducted at.- 7 



bark decoction used in 297 

described ^ 61 

object of • 61 

Sweet FLAG, use of 288 

Swellings, treatment for 299 

Sw"immer, brief account of 7 

Swimmer manuscript, loss of.. 1 

Sycamore, medicinal use of 200, 

244, 298 
Symbolism — 

in medicinal plants 53-54 

in medicine 63, 120 

of color 51 

Symptoms of diseases, value 

attached to 16-17 

T., a medicine man, characteri- 
zation of 111-112 

Table mountain pine, use of.. 119 
Taboos — 

belief concerning 15 

concerning birds 66 

concerning corpse 136 

connected with pregnancy. 120- 


diet, in sickness 64—65, 

179, 199 

food, basis for 82 

for husbands 121-122 

for medicine men 103, 136 

for mother, after cliildbirth. 127 

for rheumatic patients 293-294 

in treatment of sickness 64-66 

menstrual 34, 101 

results of violation of 38 

sexual 66 

See also Restrictions. 

Teeth, custom concerning 308 

Tephrosia virginiana, use of. 128 
Terrapin shell, use of, for 

medicine 59 

Thomas, W. H., loss of manu- 
script by 1 

Throat troubles, formulas for. 167 

Thrush, formula for 259 

Thunder — 

association of, with disease. 24 

beliefs concerning 23-24 

Tilia AMERICANA, use of 244 

Tithymalopsis corollata, use 

of 180, 307 




Tobacco — 

ceremonial use of 151 

chewing, medicinal use of. 224, 
241, 289, 301 

cultivated by Cherokee 91 

use of, against witches 31, 

32, 74-75 

wild, medicinal use of 170, 

171, 230, 241, 285 
Toothache — 

formulas for 167,263 

means of preventing 76 

See also Dentistry. 
Tricks. See Legerdemain. 
Trout, speckled, taboo con- 
cerning 120 

Ts., a medicine man, character- 
ized 115 

Tulip tree, medicinal use of 

bark of _--- 286,298 

Twins — 

as witches 130-131 

customs concerning 129-131 

Ulmus fulva, use of 119, 244 

Urinary diseases, formulas for. 179, 
199, 221, 222, 153, 287, 307, 308 

Vapor bath, object of 61 

Venus looking-glass, medici- 
nal use of 239 

Veratrum viride — 

cultivation of 91 

use of 204,220 

Verbascum thapsus, use of _ . 216, 255 
Veronica officinalis, use of 119. 277 

Vetch, medicinal use of 198 

Vicia caroliniana, of 198, 207 

Virginia snakeroot, use of 177, 

202, 224 

ViTis aestivalis, use of 253, 283 

ViTis LABRUSCA, use of 253 

7548°— 32 22 

Vomiting — 

efficacy of 83 

to transfer disease 63 

W., a medicine man, character- 
ization of 109-111 

Walnuts, taboo concerning 121 

Warfare, medicine man in 91 

Water, use of, in medicine 57 

Watson, Mrs. Allan, acknowl- 
edgment to XV 

White oak, medicinal use of.. 244 

Whites — 

attitude toward 8, 39, 99 

attitude toward culture of 107-108 

Whooping cough, preventive 

used against 76 

Wild ginger, use of 209, 252 

Willow, white, use of 199 

Witchcraft — 

as a cause of illness 41 

precautions against 31 

use of, by medicine man 87-88 

Witchcraft diseases, formulas 

for 167, 187-188 

Witches — 

activities of 33 

conception of 29-30 

diseases caused by 29-33 

preparation for profession of- 30 

Worcester, S. A., loss of manu- 
script by 1 

Worms, formulas for 167, 

214, 248-249 

Wounds — 

formulas for 167, 272-273 

treatment of 72 

Xanthorrhiza apiifolia, use 

of 274 

ZiziA aurea, use of 102